Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday's Inspiration - Evan Hunter - Outlining

While reading this essay by Evan Hunter - About That Novel, He mentions Outlining. Now his idea of outlining isn't what you learned in school. He speaks about starting the story, getting involved with the characters, finding the right tone for the story and seeing where the story might go. He talks about looking ahead to see where the story could go and what the pitfalls might be.

I'm a Plotter and that doesn't mean I rigidly follow what I've written in the outline. During the writing of a story though there may be a plan, sometimes, things happen but I do have a plan and do take time to explore sidetracks to see if my goals fit the characters. Every writer has a goal when they begin a story and things do happen while writing to change the outcome that have not been planned for. Once I have a feel for my characters, I then look at where I'm going. I may have written a chapter or I may have done all the learning in my head. That's when I sit down and look at a chapter outline.

The chapter outline is my telling the story. Some chapters have just one subject. Murder occurs. They make Love. The villain appears. Some are longer with me telling what will happen and why.

So if you're just starting to write, doing a summary or an outline of a story may help you when you sit down to show the story rather than tell.

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