Thursday, September 16, 2010

WIP Thursday

My outlining success!!
     Outlining. I never thought I could do it because I'm such a random person. In college, my notes at best looked like a web of connecting bubbles. At worst a scattered smattering of disconnected half sentences. So when the idea of outlining my book was suggested I felt my body convulse. However, I needed to see where the holes were in my story. I knew they were there but couldn't get at them. After researching a plethora of ideas and different processes I found one that spoke to my busy brain. 
Alexandra Sokoloff has an excellent series on Story Structure, specifically the "index card" method. This worked for me for several reasons:

1) I could see my entire story arc at one time.
2) It was easy to pick out where I was missing a scene or where 
    something wasn't working.
3) Using the Post-Its I could easily change order to increase tension 
    or even omit useless scenes.
4) Helped to insure I had all the elements of a great story.

I totally surprised myself and completed an outline of the entire Middle Grade project I am working on. And I did it in less than a week. I find I don't feel overwhelmed about writing either because I have a plan and I know what needs to be done next. Thanks Alex!!

What has worked for you and don't tell me you just write from cover to cover. I might lose it. Just kidding. I would love to hear about your successes or problems with outlining!!


  1. I've seen the post it note idea, but I've never done it, because I'm kind of a pantser. I think I might do it in the editing process when the book is finished.

  2. totally terrified of outlines. you make me feel a little better by knowing you did it successfully after fearing them as much as i do. i can only imagine how much easier it would make to write a book when you have the entire plan in front of you and you just have to fill in the words. i think i will bookmark this post and when i finish my current wip, i will try the outline method for my next one. thanks for this post!

  3. This sounds intimidating to me and maybe a tad too abstract for my poor brain. Love to know the details.

  4. Seriously, I actual admire pantsers. It means you can hold a hold lot of story in your head and find it when you need it. Me, I need help getting it out of my head. Ha!

  5. Oh, wow - I want to pint your picture and put it up at the top of my monitor so I can see it while I try to figure out my own outline. Thinking about outlining kinda reminds me of having hives, so i don't like to do it, but I know I have to. Thanks for this inspirational post, and for the referral to Alexandra Sokoloff's post about the index card method!


I would love to hear from you!

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