Inlines or outlines – either way I’m feeling good about the outline I’ve been working on for the last couple weeks. About a week too long to be honest but it’s continuing to move forward and I still like the characters a lot and that’s the most important part.
While on the subject of writing fiction and outlines. There are some famous writers who trash anyone who uses an outline – Stephen King probably the most famous one. I was a huge Stephen King fan and therefore used to subscribe to that method and instead of having the outline determine where the story would go I would let the characters show me. Problem was with time limitations, or lack of discipline, I found the story growing cold if I couldn’t get to it for a couple days. Writing fiction is a little like tracking someone – it is most successful before the trail goes cold.
It is hard to read a book if you put it down for a couple days, then pick it up, then stop for another couple days and the same is true when writing a book.
I found that writing a thorough outline the characters are developing and the scenes playing out and I can keep up with my mind, which some people would say isn’t hard to do. The outline for the story I’m writing now (I really need to come up with a working title) is a couple hundred lines long. Probably about 10 pages worth and will probably double.
I will then go in and be able to put the little touches and nuances that make a book enjoyable. Scenarios and setups are only a small part of a good book. Think of how many truly ludicrous scenarios you’ve read – what made those books great was the writers skill.