A Little Something Learned

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Did anyone learn this in school? I didn’t!

I have been struggling with writing the past few years. I still write and I love to do it, but nothing ever seems to work out right. It just seems like a jumbled mess and I can’t do anything with it. I have great stories (at least I think they are great) and I know others would love them. Actually, I know others love them because I have shared my stories with a few people.

The problem usually comes up when I edit my work. I just don’t know what to do with it. I check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and all that stuff that you are supposed to check for. I also look for things that don’t make sense. I have done so many re-reads of my novels and I can feel there is something missing.

I kept beating myself up because I didn’t use an outline like everyone says you should. I didn’t know where the story was going when I started writing it, I just had an idea. I got to the end one chapter at a time.

The other day I was reading some articles and blog post about writing, trying to figure out where I was going wrong and it suddenly (and finally) hit me. I had been going about it all the wrong way.

See, I may not have created a formal outline when I started writing. I went from point A to point B without a guideline or even and idea of where point B would be. When you step back and see what I created it’s the same as any other outline. That is all my novels are right now. They are outlines. Giant 80,000+ word outlines.

I had been going about it all the wrong way.

Instead of re-reading the story as an outline, I was reading it as finished piece. It is still in a young state. It can still change and transform. I was trying to keep everything where it was and exactly the way I had written it the first time. But it all calls for a re-write. One more time, one word at a time, just as before, only using the “rough draft” as an outline instead of a sturdy base.

I may still be learning how this whole writing thing works for me, but I sure do love the moments when things click in my head and start making sense.

How do you write? Do you have an outline or do you just write?

Meet Again 2

3 thoughts on “A Little Something Learned

  1. Rachel says:

    I totally understand. The very first novel l ever completed (it’s still in the editing stages) has so many drafts. Each draft has mnor changes because l had no idea how to “edit.” I have learned so much since then. Editng my current novel is so much easier and l’m really getting someplace with it.

    I sometimes use outlines. It depends on the project. The series l’m working on now is mystery, so l have tons of outlines and notes to help keep my head on straight.

    • Heather M. says:

      I have a series that I am working on. I have been keeping up with notes on OneNote to keep all the stories and details straight. I still don’t have a proper outline for it. Just an idea of where I want the series to go. lol

      • Rachel says:

        Outlines are optional, that’s the best part. It’s good that you’ve been keeping some notes, though. It’ll help out in the long run when you’re trying to remember certain things!

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