Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Advantage to Outlining

I’m not a pantser.  I tried it once and it was an absolutely terrible experience.  Not necessarily because I didn’t enjoy the chance to find out as I wrote.  I actually enjoyed that. 

What I didn't enjoy was what happened next...

I’m still working on the revisions to piece together the story so that it’s manageable. 

I’m a planner by nature.  Everything needs to have a plan.  Our family recently received some disheartening news last month, and it was difficult to adjust to our new situation.  However, as I began to think about it, and with some wonderful friends who encouraged me, I realized that this was exactly what I’d wanted, though not in the way that I wanted.

Now, I know exactly what to expect for the next two years.  I know where I’m going to live, I know where I’m going to work – I can make plans in a semi-long term fashion.  In fact, my husband and I have made a 2 year plan, and it’s a relief to know exactly what I need to do to achieve our brand new goals.  It’s something visible, something I can follow and know if I’m on track or not.  If something new comes alone, I can figure out if it fits into the plan, and if it doesn’t, then I can discard it or adapt it to the plan.

I need the same thing in writing.  If I don’t know where the story’s headed, all sorts of sidetracks are taken.  I get lost easily, so my writing is full of dead ends, u turns and slippery slopes.  I need a map to figure out the journey before I even start.

I started working on my NaNoWriMo outline this week, and I’ve got to say, I’m starting to get excited.  The story’s coming together – slowly but surely.  There are already those rough starts, the accidental side road, but I’m fixing it now so that once I get to November, it’ll be nothing but a smooth, exhilarating ride. 

Honestly, what could be more frustrating than getting lost or even stuck in the middle of nowhere when you’ve got somewhere you want to be?