1. BC Barry
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    BC Barry Member

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    Maintaining my Focus??

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by BC Barry, Jul 4, 2016.

    My brother is moving in with his wife and selling his home and most of his possessions (he has a ton of crap!) in a week-long yard sale this coming week. I've offered to help him and will be staying down there from Tuesday til probably Sat or Sun. It's a couple of hours away.

    The fun part is.....he has no internet. Ugh! I never sleep more than a few hours, plus will be having down time between everything.

    My plan during this time is to get the rest of my WIP at least typed up instead of this series of vague scenes floating around in my brain. I really have trouble writing outlines, though. The beginning is usually pretty good, but as I become more and more involved in the story, I become more and more engrossed in making it perfect. Then I'm at a point where I can't move on until I've decided between did he move closer to him or did he walk closer, etc.

    How do you discipline yourself to keep this outline short and then go back and fluff it up later? I'm really struggling with this right now. No matter how good my intentions are, I get too involved in the story and want what's on the screen in front of me to say everything exactly how it needs to be said.

    I would love to at least have the whole book laid out by the end of this oh-so-fun week, then once I'm back home, start from Chapter One and word it up.

    Any suggestions will be much appreciated! Thanks!!
     
  2. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm in the same boat. I will have an idea and work it out to the point I can start an outline to work out the major plots ect... But then I want to get going on it and toss aside the outline to get don some words. in the end I will sit at my computer and stare at the words saying "I hate you" partially to the words, partially to my reflection in the screen.
     
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  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Start with a single-page chapter outline, with one "logline" sentence for each chapter.
     
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  4. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    Outline the start and beginning and then the key points that get you from A to B.
    I always like to write down the bones of my ending, so I keep the focus on where I want to end up. I start with a A3 page and draw a timeline. Then, I break it down into key points and have arrows from the timeline to explanatory bubbles. Then I can work out my chapters and a brief overview of what happens in each. That gets me a to a similar place as EdFromNY, but in a slightly different way.
     
  5. BC Barry
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    BC Barry Member

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    I will try all of this this week. Thanks. I just really have a hard time stopping at a word or sentence or paragraph or........ :D

    I really don't know what the ending is yet, but I do know what the big something will be that leads up to the ending. I'm hoping this outline writing will help me with that. Plus, I just don't think I'll have a huge amount of time in big chunks to actually accomplish anything more.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe you're not an outliner.

    I keep trying to do outlines, but I find if I outline, I'm bored when it comes time to write it - I've already SEEN this movie, brain! So, yeah, I lose focus, run out of steam, etc.

    Maybe you'd do better if you just wrote the story and figured it out as you went.

    Outlines are useful for some people, but they're far from mandatory.
     
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  7. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    I am NOT an outliner by nature. Never have been, probably never will be.

    What I do instead, is think about individual scenes. In each scene, there should be an immediate goal for the characters to either accomplish or get thwarted.

    Directly under the insertion point on my word processor, I do a few lines of outline relating to the scene. They are brief sentences which move down as I type, and they are always in view so I can see exactly what needs to accomplish.

    It usually looks something like this:

    Mc does so and so
    So and so happens
    So and so does this
    Antagonist does this
    This happens as a result
    Hope this helps.
     
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  8. BC Barry
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    BC Barry Member

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    That might work better. I do have most major events or at least the reasonings for them in my mind. I don't want to go a whole week without working on it and know I won't have hours straight of free time like I seem to usually need. But something like that I could probably do in 15 or 20 minutes at a pop. And maybe doing this I can also fill in the gaps between the events in the same way.

    Thanks!!!
     
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