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  1. #1
    Dave Bartik
    Guest

    Outlines and Improv

    To the fiction authors out there (published and aspiring), how much time do you spend crafting an outline? Is it detailed down to what occurs in each chapter, or paragraph, or just general plot points one intends to hit along the way?

    While I know everyone\\\'s style is different, I\\\'m trying to find the niche that I fit in by collecting successful experiences. My first time through, I knew plotlines I wanted to get to and filled in the rest as I went along. For my second novel, I\\\'m being a little more specific, bundling up index cards and hashing out scenes before I get there.

    What works best for you?



  2. #2
    v m
    Guest

    Re: Outlines and Improv

    Aspiring author here.

    I'm not particular with the crafting process. When I have an idea, I let it brew in a while before I begin its draft. Because once I make an outline, it's official. And if I'm not satisfied I'll do a cycle of revising till I get bored and start up a different project.

    To keep track of all plotlines I have a notebook. One notebook for every story. I write on that then transfer it onto computer.

  3. #3
    Finnley Wren
    Guest

    Re: Outlines and Improv

    My experience here at WN is that lots of aspiring writers spend lots of time outlining but never seem to get to the, you know, writing part.

    Personally, I don't use an outline and (for better or worse) have no idea what will happen next. But whatever works for you.

  4. #4
    v m
    Guest

    Re: Outlines and Improv

    I believe outlines are necessary when you're doing a long novel. To pinpoint everything then connect all the dots. Otherwise you'll sidetrack. But for some aspiring writers, I'm with Finnley. We contemplate a subject and just go with the flow. It's all "part of the process" - of learning

    Best you focus on the story without many technical approaches.

  5. #5
    judy spelbring
    Guest

    Re: Outlines and Improv

    I did not do an outline. However, I do make notes in a notebook with names, places, and events to keep everything straight.

  6. #6
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: Outlines and Improv

    My outline is a timeline. My work covers years, so it's best to keep track of them. I have to look up each reference to be sure that the item or phrase existed in that year. I can't be claiming my characters are using cell phones in 1959.

  7. #7
    Jean Bonifacios
    Guest

    Re: Outlines and Improv

    Or flipping one closed in 1990. I do that too leslee. I mentioned a soap opera in mine and on a whim decided to look up when it was on...I was off by a decade.

    I think it's a good way to keep track but I certainly am the only one that could understand it. It's not anything I could use to attract a publisher.

  8. #8
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: Outlines and Improv

    I had to contact a Superman expert to find out when a particular event occured in the comic book. You don't want to screw those up. Readers will find them.

  9. #9
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: Outlines and Improv

    Superman expert? Day-um, where were these jobs when I graduated?

  10. #10
    Missy Cote
    Guest

    Re: Outlines and Improv

    I never have an outline for my stories. Like some of the others, as the story develops Iíll make notes about certain things that are going on just to keep track. I learned to do that half way through the first novel when I had to go back and change two chapters because I realized I had one character in two places doing two completely different things at the same time! I was soooooooooo mad!

    I never have a plan when I write. I have an idea about the main characters then I sit down and the story comes out however it wants too. I donít know myself what will happen from one chapter to the next. When a plot twist shows up it excites me. The kids will come home from school and Iíll say, ďGuess what happened in the story today!Ē Of course, they all think Iím nuts.lol Maybe I amÖ

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