A Process is A Process

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

35. Your process for outlining a story

As previously mentioned (more than once, I believe) I’m not the type to plan out a story ahead of time. I tend to go with the flow, writing as I see fit, and worrying about whether or not it makes sense later. It’s not always the best way to write, I’ll admit, but it has served me thus far.

So outlining, in the technical sense, is not something I’ve been known to do. But I do have my own method of outlining, in a manner of speaking.

When I imagine other writers outlining their work, I imagine them creating a kind of mind map or timeline that shows the natural progression of the story, what should happen when, that kind of thing. My ‘method’, so to speak, is not so much to plan this kind of thing out ahead of time, but to write in such a way that allows me to figure it out as I go. See, what I’ve been doing for the past few years (mostly as a result of participating in NaNoWriMo) is to write each scene as it’s own separate entity. Sure, some stuff will carry over naturally, but for the most part I’ll write the scenes as if none of the other scenes exist. That way, when I have a bunch of scenes written, I can look at them and determine how they should be situated in respect to one another. I know it sounds strange and cumbersome, but doesn’t that accurately describe all the writing habits I’ve already shared with you?

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