NaNoWriMo Prep Friday: Week 3

Hello Friday. It’s rolled around yet again, after yet another night of my watching How To Get Away With Murder in total awe that the show has managed to completely entrance me with it’s hook. However, since it is Friday that now means that it’s time for me to focus on some NaNoWriMo prep stuff. So here this week’s prep post entirely about bringing your outline to life.

I’ve talked about how I outline my novels already, so you aren’t going to find me espousing about this is what I do. Instead it’s all about finally just getting your notes for your story together as an outline. It can be a very tough thing to give structure to your string of ideas and scenarios. It’s not just about saying you want some specific scene to occur at a certain point. You also need to make all the scenes string together with appropriate bridges that feel far better than mere bridges. You need to create story that will feel like one whole story and not just scenes.

That’s what the outline helps with. It allows you to organize everything and begin to see the structure of your story. This is particularly useful when you have no idea of how your story is going to get someplace, but you know what you want to happen. An outline will allow you to do that. It says this happens here, but is still flexible enough that you can shift things around when it isn’t working just write.

There are a lot of people out there who do not like to outline before they write. More power to them, but outlines help with structure. Most people who write novels end up writing an outline, whether it is before you start writing or after that first draft is done and you go back and do it. The point is outlines tend to be done because they are extraordinarily helpful when addressing the structure and flow of events in your story. I prefer to do the outlines in the beginning because I am highly averse to doing rework. Yes, rework is always necessary, but my goal in life is to minimize all rework. It allows me to have more time to do other things.

Now, some of your may be wondering how I outline and you can find that out here. My method hasn’t changed as it hasn’t steered me wrong yet. Keep in mind that this is the method that works for me and not necessarily for you.

Where I’m At
I haven’t made a terrible amount of progress this week, outline wise. I let ACL get the best of me and blew all work off all weekend and then only managed a mere 3 chapter outlines. That said, the boyfriend is gone this weekend so everything will be on my schedule. I already have a few hours of my time chunked out for working on my outline and my query. I’ll also be heading out to the Texas Teen Book Festival for a bit.

How do you outline?

4 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Prep Friday: Week 3

  1. Thanks for posting! I like to outline the big events in my novel, the things that are really key to getting from A to Z with integrity. However, I don’t like to outline every single scene. When I do that much outlining, I feel like I’ve already had all my fun and writing feels more like ticking off a checklist than creation.

  2. I take some notes to get a feel for the story, and then I outline chapter by chapter with or without my notes. This is the first time in years I’ve had a complete outline before starting, and I have to say, it feels really good! I usually pants my outline as I go, outline a few chapters and write, rinse and repeat. Having it ready to go is a lot less stressful and has helped me circumvent so story issues. ^_^

    • I’m very similar. After my last couple forays into not going in with a full outline turning out with various degrees of awful messes, I’m going back to my outline. It’s my friend and makes my stories make sense.

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