NaNoWriMo: Outlining

I’ve gone ahead and pulled the trigger on abandoning my first novel.

But hope is not lost! The new idea I mentioned in the previous post is steadily germinating in my mind. And I’m trying something I never have before: outlining.

I know some of the authors I look up to the most (notably Mr. King) do not outline, as they feel it’s too restrictive. And I can definitely see that. I attempted to write my first novel by the seat of my pants, hoping the characters would organically lead me to the ending. Well, even though I still have an inkling of where to go with the plot, the whole idea just seemed to putter out.

I was inspired most recently by this Chuck Wendig post, and decided my new novel needed some clearer planning. I opened up a new document, stuck a Roman numeral at the top, and started thinking about my opening scene. Surprisingly, the ideas started to flow out of my brain like it was a colon full of C. diff. (uh-oh, maybe Wendig is rubbing off on me). I’m still not sure if I’ll start writing before I completely finish the outline – this is all new territory for me – but I’m interested to see how closely I’ll actually stick to it. If I think of a better idea along the way, I want to be open to change. I guess we’ll see how it goes, but I’m pretty excited about it. I’d been wanting to use some of my unique work experiences in a fictionalized form, and now I think I may have finally found the pathway. Good luck to everyone out there whose writing their tails off this month!


6 responses to “NaNoWriMo: Outlining

  1. Outlining isn’t so bad. It helps you already know the ending, so you can foreshadow in certain parts of your story. I love to outline; however, my stories always venture off on its own around the middle of it. I’ve yet to actually follow an outline word for word, scene for scene. But it helps regardless to have a plan in mind already (even if it may change in revisions).

    Keep smiling,

    • That’s definitely true, I usually start without an ending in mind. I still don’t have one, but my goal is to have the entire thing outlined, including the ending, so that I can foreshadow. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Oh, gross, Dana! C.Diff? That’s gonna be all night getting that image out of my head. LOL. I think a loose outline is good. I don’t think I could ever plan chapter for chapter. It’s just not in me.

    • Haha sorry bout that. You know, I didn’t think the chapter by chapter thing was in me either until I tried it. I don’t know if it will ultimately work, but at least it’s getting the ideas churning.

  3. Pingback: Braving the Elements | Dana Stewart·

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