Monday, November 21, 2011

Outlining and Me - Why it Never Works

Since I failed at Wrimo this year - which I think is for many reasons - I decided to actually sit down and think about a new story to write.  Now, when I say sit down and think, basically what happens is I get a random idea which turns into a blurb.  The blurb becomes what could either be a prologue, random musings, or even the start of the first chapter. From there I stop and think about where this could go and how it could work as a story.

My Wrimo novel however was just write and continue writing and see where it goes.  That worked for a while, but then real life decided to rear it's ugly head.  A close friend of the family died, I need to find a new job, etc and so on.  I wound up missing a few days and my muse was just gone.

That's when I decided to take this new random blurb I wrote and form it into a story.  To make it easier for myself, I said, "Hey let's plot this out a little bit.  Make some notes using Storybook and go from there."

Which I did. It was nothing to elaborate. Even when I attempt to outline I don't like to make it too detailed so that I have some wiggle room for twists, turns, and roundabouts to make their way into the story.  I never know when I'm going to get a burst of inspiration or a quirky idea that would fit the story.

So I made my note cards on Storybook.  Not for the entire story, but for a good portion of it to see how it went. I start writing. Just beginning chapter two I've realized that these note cards and semi outlining is moot because already my characters have taken over.

Structure is not my friend when it comes to writing.  It just doesn't work. I may want the story to go in one direction, but my characters tend to fight me tooth and nail.  It can be frustrating sometimes.  Not to mention the fact that I wasted half a day trying to figure out where I wanted the story to go only to be bitched slapped by my characters as they took control.

Honestly, I'm not sure why I attempted to outline or plot out this story.  It NEVER works for me. I'm not a linear thinker.  My mind is often chaotic.  Even when I plan things out it never goes that way. Sometimes I wonder if I really do have multiple personalities with all the character conversations and arguments that go on in my mind and on paper. 

Dear Characters,

It's come to my attention that you want to do what you want to do. My opinion rarely ever seems to count. While I understand that you are independent you are not always wise and should take my opinions into account. However, if you still wish to fight me tooth and nail I'll simply say this.




Jarmara Falconer said...

Why not let them go for it and then you can bring them back into line when you edit your work.

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