How do you write?

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Let me start by saying there is no right or wrong way to write. It is really all about your personality and how that influences your writing.

I am the type of writer that normally lets inspiration lead me and my story.

However, right now as I am bearing down on this new story I am writing I am finding ideas for scenes coming from all over the place. But I am not quite ready to write that part of the story yet.

So against my better judgment I am considering an outline.

For me personally starting off a story with an outline usually crushes my creativity. I feel boxed in like I have to go step by step and follow the rules (outline) I have created.

This time seems to be different. I feel like I need an outline to keep me reigned in. To keep the story flowing where it should and to not lose those essential ideas and scenes which are popping in my mind but are happening much later in the story.

Plus as the story is growing and I am adding a character here and a character there I am losing control. It is not a good feeling when you feel like you are losing control of your story. It is as if it has created a mind of its own!

While I appreciate the creativity, scenes, and ideas that I am seeing for this story, it is getting hard to stay focused and just enjoy the writing. I am trying to force a certain scene that is happing right now while something that is going to happen close to the end is taking up precious space in my mind.

So that is why I am creating the outline. I can write down the scenes that are coming to the surface for the future and clear up my mind so that I can focus on the scene at hand.

What works for you guys?
Do you outline or not?

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7 responses »

  1. I know how you feel. I outline, but very little. I think a balance has to be struck. (Plus, you don’t have to follow an outline just because you wrote it…)
    But I like to outline say four scenes in advance with an endgame that I know. That way things can flow naturally, but you still know where you’re going.
    Those are my two cents anyway. I’ll be interested to see how it works for you!

    • Thanks, I agree.
      I think I need find a good balance and remind myself that just because I wrote the outline doesn’t mean I must follow it!
      I like the idea of outlining just a few scenes in advance, it gives the story the ability to flow where it would and still allows for the structure to get it to the end.

  2. I’m in the midst of writing a trilogy of short stories. For the first two, I was able to sketch scene titles and sentence summaries from beginning-to-end (which I adapted as the story developed). I’m planning to sit down and begin the third one with only the first and last scene in my mind (and nothing on paper). I’m a little nervous, but trusting the Spirit to lead me.

    • Looks like you are using a good mixture of writing in flow and planning. Good luck. I look forward to reading your stories.

  3. I outline the main events/turning points, often in my head. I can imagine though with something elaborate like a series you will need outlines and VERY detailed notes. You don’t want your character to suddenly change eye color!

    • A very good point! I was reading through a story I wrote one time and a secondary character who I had named Veronica, I suddenly started calling Victoria. Those are things you don’t want to happen!

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