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Outline-Shmoutline

by on July 10, 2012

I keep getting the question, “Do you create an outline for your stories.” The short answer is “No.” But it’s really much more complicated than this. Like I’ve explained before, I write only what my characters share with me, so it would be impossible for me to skip ahead and outline the end of the story, when they are in the middle of flirting and getting to know each other.

I remember in junior high I had a teacher that made us practice writing outlines, by outlining our school day. We had to give a general idea of how we wanted our day to work out, and she believed that this was a form of positive thinking as well as a teaching mechanism. I didn’t learn much, or retain much from her class, but I did manage to secure my first “French kiss’ in her classroom. 🙂

I decided to test the method with a story idea that had been teasing my brain for a few days. I sat down with a piece of paper and a pencil, and I started at the beginning, only to find myself stuck. I didn’t know how to create the steps A,B,C, or D. They only seem to become clear when I start writing. So, “No” I don’t create an outline. Instead you will find me with my laptop sitting in the recliner chair, at 10pm after the kids are in bed writing what I know.

Short stories, poetry, smut, books, comics, plays, or quips. It doesn’t seem to matter how I plan, I end up with a completely different story than I start out with. I have to wonder how many writers follow the outline technique and find it appealing?

 

Always~Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your only chance~Lori

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