Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's Official: I'm an Outliner.

13,000 words into The Best Man, one thing has become painfully clear: I am an outliner.

The main reason for this is that I am an out-of-sequence writer. It's damn near impossible for me to work on a scene when another scene is bugging the crap out of me and demanding to be written. And even though I haven't outlined the story, I have a vague idea of some scenes coming up, how a few things are going to tie together, things like that. Those scenes, of course, are bugging the hell out of me.

So, I am hereby throwing in the towel and commencing a very vague, very flexible outline for The Best Man. I think my last couple of books have shown me that I definitely don't need to outline as obsessively as I used to (30-40 pages single-spaced for a 125K word book...that's obscene), but I simply don't function well flying blind. I just need to know, generally, what's coming up, what's probably going to happen, and how it all ties into the end.

I'm not saying that it would be impossible for me to finish this book without an outline. I could probably do it, but here's the thing: The story comes first, even before trying to prove to myself that I can do this. I like this story and want to do it justice...trying to shoehorn it into an experiment would be about as detrimental as trying to force it to fit a rigid outline.

It was no doubt an interesting experiment, and this story wouldn't exist if Scarlett and I hadn't decided to undertake this bizarre switch, since I came up with it specifically for this. It's been an educational experience, that's for damn sure, but I am definitely an outliner.

The towel has been thrown.


  1. *hugs*

    I think it was a successful experiment. You figured out what works for you and why.


  2. Well done for making it so far. I wouldn't have if I swapped my methods. :-)

    The book comes first.

    *Menny hugz*