1. Niklas
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    Niklas New Member

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    I have an outline issue

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Niklas, Nov 14, 2014.

    Hi,
    I have been working on a complex outline for a novel for the passed 15 months.An outline is in my case a numberd section for like 40 pages where the main plot evlolves. No character desription or dialouge, just the plot. I use this method cause the story is complicated and take place in 2 different ages which depend on eachother. I am ready to write! Then it hit me - a remebering from the past. Let! The! Script! Rest!

    Now heres the thing: If you ever worked on an outline for a longer time than say 6 months - would you let it rest before you started work on your first draft? I cant really make up my mind. I am so in the story right now and just want to get started. 1000 of hours of research and plotting and I actully have let the story rest for some weeks but I have still altered some parts due to research work during the time. I wouldnt forget the mainparts of the plot even if I would let this rest for 2 months. So what would you have done?

    As you can see I am trying to defend my intention to get started right this weekend. Now I would like your opinion. Ive searched the net and there was only one place where they sugest such a thing (although the other sites didnt say anything about NOT rest the plot) was an article where you learned to write a novel in 30 days. On day 30 you should "put on the shelf for a couple of weeks better yet a month". Still that is a work of 30 days rather than 15 months.
    So! I am ready, I am in the story but I might be blind to my own outline? Do I win anything to let it rest or will I loose? You dont know my script but try to imagine your self in a simular situation. I guess if it should rest it would be for months. And pardon my english, I am from Sweden so lots of love from the snowy land in the north. Yes I will write in Swedish;)
     
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  2. Lancie
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    Lancie Contributing Member

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    That's an amazingly long time spent planning!! If I plan for too long or in too much detail I completely loose interest and the story feels like I'm forcing it through point A to point B (my failed nanowrimo novel was a victim of too much planning and those awful characters are going to have to wait until I can be bothered with them again). It sounds like you're burning to write this so I think you should just get going. You need to find your own style and process and what works best for you and your project so...write, see how it feels.
     
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  3. jaebird
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    jaebird Active Member

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    I agree with Lancie, if you have the desire to write, let it out and write. If I had been working on an outline for six months, I'd probably be telling myself to stop meddling around and get to the good stuff, the actual writing. Of course, I'm not much of a detailed outliner, so if I spent six months on one, I probably wouldn't be very happy. I have tossed around concepts in my head, even written scenes for stories that have been nothing but an idea and some characters for long periods of time, but it if it's on the shelf for that long, I usually have something else taking priority. You seem to have nothing holding you back from telling your story except doubt, so I say get going while the spark is there. It'll give you a good idea of how well you've done your outline and if it's going to work for you as well.
     
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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hi, welcome to the forum, @Niklas. The idea of putting a piece aside is usually when you're at a stumbling block. It's not some kind of rule of thumb that makes one's writing better.

    You've done all this planning. It's time to get started writing. It sounds like you might be procrastinating which is understandable given the planning is often easy, the writing is often hard.
     
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  5. Niklas
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    Niklas New Member

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    Hi everyone and thanx for your advices. I also posted this in another writers forum and everyone is teling me to write. I hear what you all saying so it is just for me to start.

    15 months is a long time but given family, work and kicing of an internet start up and finiching a table top roeplaying game it might be understandble. And the story started of with the worst kind of conditions: An article. Just a beginning, a first chapter of one page. What should the rest of the book be about? Still that article was to intriging. I couldnt get rid of the thought. The story then eveolved and the plot changed so many times I lost count. It is a fine line between ficton and truth, two parallell timelines and researching involved. Much much researching. But now its time to start writing that bestseller. Two persons in Sweden have done the same thing and become millioners. Ive red them both. I can do this. I really can do this. Have a great weekend and keep on hammering those keys or working that pen!
     
  6. Howard_B
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    Howard_B Active Member

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    What is it with this level of planning ? of course I am only giving my personal opinion but this sounds like my worst nightmare. Planning is only a kick off point .... a scene setter. Again I am only giving you my personal opinion but this is like some sort of anally retentive obsession with planning. What about creativity and inspiration ?
    I myself do outline my story before I write ... I spend a little time in a cafe each day and make brief notes about what I think will be the core of the book. Looking at my notebook now I see about 23 A5 pages of rough pencil notes ... and most of that was written as I wrote the book.
    But then I start writing and all kinds of things pop in to my mind as I write. Sometimes half way through I run out of ideas ... so I draw out where I stand in Scapple and just sit down and let it rip.
    I cannot imagine a more appalling vista than having a complete and comprehensive outline and then sticking to it from beginning to end.
    Maybe it's just me...
     
  7. Niklas
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    Niklas New Member

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    The outline process is like writing but without the details. For me it is as mych creative.I have tons of ideas bursting from that process but when I need to change the plot for some reasonI dont haveto rewrite the whole draft, just change the order of the outline. This is a process that is thought for ie screenwriting schools. But with my first novel publiched 15 years ago I didnt worked with an outline, I just wrote. I had a beginning, Ihad an ending. But in this case with the level of complexity it is for me not even thinkable to write without the outline. I know that I will change course during thw writing aswell nad thats great - I find holes in the plot and dig deeper in to the story. And I know that this phase is another type of creativty than the first one. Nothing is better than the other one. Some storys need outlines. Or they dont but the rewriting process will be hell of a lot harder. :)
     
  8. Howard_B
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    Howard_B Active Member

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    I don't dispute what you say and respect your position completely Nikla, but imho some of it is a form of prevarication and fear.
     
  9. Niklas
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    Niklas New Member

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    Ok but belive me when I am saying I am not scared at all. I released a tabletop role playing game, I published an E-book, I have a startup buissness and been writing awell renomed blogg and for a newspaper. :) But I got a tip from Another forum that spotted my problem: You cant save your self with an outline - its not a garantee to save the Project. You have to start writing. So now I am. And celebrating this with a brand new keyboard :D I am so eger to start the process, just some details left. Ill keep you posted ;)
     
  10. Howard_B
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    Howard_B Active Member

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    I am delighted you are moving forward Niklas. I do accept that you have succeeded in the past but that doesn't save us from our inner fears of the story not being good enough, or the characters or plot not interesting enough. These insecurities influence even the most experienced and successful writers. As you say yourself, "You cant save your self with an outline - its not a guarantee to save the Project" which is exactly what I am saying.

    And let's face it. When you say "The outline process is like writing but without the details" you are not really correct I would suggest ... millions of people can outline a story, but how many can write it ? How many will pay for an outline ?

    Keep us posted !
     
  11. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    I would go ahead and get started. I think first draft should be all about quantity anyway. Write it as fast as you can. Later, there will be time to let it simmer before tearing it apart. You can't revise if you haven't yet written anything.
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Write. No matter how detailed that outline is, it's mainly a memory-jogger for the richness and detail of the story that's in your head. So why put it aside and let the important thing, the actual memory of your ideas, fade away and get dusty and stale? Write.

    Edited to add: Letting something rest is, IMO, when that something is fully fleshed out. When you've actually written the story, from beginning to end, then you may want to put it aside. Now? It's barely begun. Go write.
     
  13. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or you could let the resting wait until you have a first draft and before starting the revision. I don't see why you should have to wait before even starting to write the actual story. Bättre att smida medan järnet är varmt (better strike while the iron is hot) :write:
     
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  14. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    An outline is one thing, but you seem to have spent a phenomenal amount of time making an accurate lattice on which to hang your tale. Your characters and plot have nowhere to go: they must fit the plan. Life isn't like that.

    Characters and plots ought to be able to evolve, and they may head off in directions you hadn't anticipated. Knowing how you want to start and finish is fine, but let the characters themselves have plenty of input.
     

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