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I hate outlining. I hate it so very much. i’m not good at it. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around it. When I had to write papers in high school I never used an outline and I always did really well. Especially on Fiction. When an outline was required I would make one up and turn it in.

Now, as an adult, the way I do outlines would make my High School teachers cry. It’s not consistent throughout the outline and it’s not always the

I.

        A.

                1.

format. I don’t even know how you write clear ideas like that. My brain just doesn’t work in a logical line I guess.

My outlines look more like:

Chapter One-Important Points:

                 -introduce town

                  -introduce main char.

                 -sees meteor/meets oracle

                           *oracle description:

Kind of just basic references.

Outlining just about bores me to tears. If I have a clear vision of what i want to write then I want to *write* it. I don’t want to write about writing it.

BUT-I know that I have to for NaNoWriMo. If I want to write 2000-5000 words a day I need to have a vision of each plot point ahead of time if I’m going to avoid getting stuck. I will, in all likely hood, not follow my outline. When NaNoWriMo starts I will probably not even look at it. Because the characters take me where they want.

But I have (begrudgingly) found that at least writing the outline-whether or not it gets used-puts enough ideas into my subconscious to roll around and work on while i’m doing other things or working on other parts of the story.

The first year I did NaNo i had an outline. I didn’t look at it but I had it and I won. Last year I did not have an outline and I stopped about 70 pages in.

So that’s what I’m going to be doing today. I’m going to hate it. A lot. But I guess you do what you have to.

Do you outline? What do your outlines look like? What do you do to prep for November?

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(My cat is a goofball)

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One thought on “Outlining Makes Me Sad

  1. I outline every year. The one time I didn’t, which was only because I didn’t have a solid idea early enough to do much prep, the words I churned out for NaNo weren’t a story so much as an intro that couldn’t decide what style it wanted to be, a couple of scenes, and lots of backstory.

    My outlines are usually just a list of things that need to happen to get the story from beginning to end. “MC’s dad dies, MC grows up, MC starts training for militia, MC meets future best friend, MC finds item that makes him suspicious of his dad’s death…” And so on. A bit more detailed than that, but hopefully you get the idea.

    I don’t particularly enjoy the outlining all the time, but the more excited I am about a story, the better for me it will be to get the general ideas down on paper before I forget the details. So outlining is really helpful for me, and I normally stick to what I’ve outlined. However, I fully understand that the story may go a different way once I start writing, so I don’t cling to the outline if that happens.

    Good luck with NaNo!

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