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?