Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Prodigal Blogger

I hope some of you are still following my blog. I realize I haven't posted for a long, LONG time. If I had seen it coming, I would have given you a heads-up, but I didn't.

To sum it up bluntly, I was getting frustrated with my efforts in writing and I took an impromptu sabbatical. I put everything away and didn't even think about them (at least not actively--I often found my WIP puttering around the back of my mind, but I just let it be for a while). Once my stock of interviewees started drying up, I didn't have much to say, so my blog went on hold as well. I apologize for not explaining at the time.

Now, I have a question for all you experienced outliners: do you finish your outline entirely before you start writing, or do you allow yourself to start writing the early parts before your outline is 100% complete?

The reason I ask is this: a couple weeks ago, I finally started jotting down, in outline form, some of the ideas that came out of all the puttering my WIP has been doing for the past couple/few months. I've got a basic outline for about half (maybe two-thirds) of the entire story. The problem is that I'm getting tired of outlining! It's been a huge help, but I want to start writing!

So I guess I'm looking for opinions and/or advice. Do I leave off outlining for a little and start fleshing out what I've got? Or do I stick it out and finish the outline before I do anything else? What do you think?


  1. I'm unfortunately not an outliner so I can't offer any advise on that. But I kind of feel that if you're wanting to write that maybe you should write.

    Good luck with it...

  2. I think you should start writing. The rest of the outline will come to you as you do other things - or when you need a break from writing! And don't worry about the break, things happen.

  3. I'd agree with the other commenters. If you really want to write, then it might be a good idea to take advantage of the inspiration/urge.

    Good luck with your story!

  4. I am not an outliner. And every manuscript I've worked on has gone differently. Once I purposely made the effort to do character sheets. Once I jumped right in without a single word of prep. The most interesting case is the MS I'm about to start work on. The idea came to me about 2 years ago. I wrote it in my idea file, and then last week, the book pretty much outlined itself one night while I was at a party. We'll see how the writing goes.

    I think that not outlining means that you might get stuck -- or you might really get to discover your story if you have no plan to stick to. You never know. Of course, not having a full outline usually means more work at edits. But if you're comfy with that go for it. In the end, it's all about what works for you. :)

  5. I know you didn't ask for advice from a non outliner, but *shrugs* I do have to outline my non-fiction. So for my non-fiction, I make a basic, quick outline and have add it. I flesh out the outline as I go, to make sure I can't do more or didn't stray. So it's a document I keep handy and use during the entire drafting process.

    Even for my fiction I know where I have to go before I start and just jot down the scene titles in order so I see my story unfold. Then, I let my characters decide how we get there. They know better than me, I'm just the madwoman with the computer, they have to live it.

    Now. Just go write, let the magic happen.

  6. I think do whatever sounds fun at the moment! :) I often flesh out my outline or even write a few scenes before my outline is totally finished. I usually know at least how the story ends (roughly), since I have a hard time writing without knowing what direction I'm going. But do what works for you!

  7. I am an avid outliner and I don't usually start writing until I'm done. However, I don't recommend that for you. If you feel inspired to write something down, do it now before the inspiration is gone!

    BTW, I tagged you with the Lucky 7 Meme. Maybe it'll help get some juices flowing?