1. mutants vs. vampires
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    mutants vs. vampires Member

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    if i tell you, you will find me. and you aren't su

    Outlines

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by mutants vs. vampires, Oct 17, 2008.

    with using outlines, how many chapters do YOU plan? Because, I have had a LOT of experience in writing, but I never used an outine before. What do you all think?:confused:

    kinda embarressed asking this..:redface:
     
  2. mutants vs. vampires
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    mutants vs. vampires Member

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    Just wondering...
     
  3. Ashley868
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    Ashley868 New Member

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    I usually plan an outline for a chapter at a time. I make an outline for the general story plot but at the beginning I have no idea how many chapters I am going to make. So I will make an outline for each chapter.
     
  4. Dante
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    Dante Member

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    I've never written anything longer than 10 pages, but outlines have never been my thing. I like to not know where my writing is going, because if I do I will get bored with it and never finish it. I usually get good ideas on how to end it as I write it.
     
  5. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    I tried fully outlining every chapter of the novel I'm currently working on. Eventually, I just gave up on focusing so much on the in-depth outline and got working on the story. I don't know how many chapters its going to be, but I know about how long it'll be. I've got the entire beginning part down and I know, for the most part, how its going to end, but the middle is a little bit blurry. I know my options for what I can possibly do in the middle section and have basically just been building upon these rough ideas. I may not know exactly how everything is going to go, but I've been a lot more productive writing this way than following a complete outline.
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've never really used outlines or plans. Because most good writers I know allow their story to evolve over time, and allow story elements to change as they see fit, it makes little sense to plan out the chapters. Sure, write an outline or timeline to help keep you focused, but being so specific as to say what will happen in each chapter seems excessive to me.
     
  7. CommonGoods
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    CommonGoods Senior Member

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    I tend not to outline chapters, just see how it works out. At some point in the story, I think "This is a major turning point" and I work from there.
     
  8. Hybrid
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    Hybrid New Member

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    I know that I personally really like outlines, since they usually help me a lot with general plot development. While I don't typically follow them completely all the way through, they really help me with creating a complex, compelling plotline.

    Following them exactly though can make writing a little boring. In my opinion, if you use them as a basic guideline, you can really get a lot out of them.
     
  9. Scarlett_156
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    Scarlett_156 Active Member

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    I usually only outline things that I'm having a problem with, not entire stories.

    For example, I might make an outline for a part in a story that was very complex, and involved multiple characters doing things in different places more or less at the same time, such as criminals planning and carrying out a crime like burglarizing an art museum that has heavy security.

    Another example would be if I was trying to write something that I didn't have a lot of real-life familiarity with--like if I was trying to write a story that had in one part a horse show. I have seen horse shows and have some familiarity with horses and their behavior, but since I don't know a whole lot about how horse shows are set up and conducted, I would outline that part so that I could include information as I did my research--my initial outline might look something like this:

    I. Bertie and Nessa decide to enter their horse, Jack, in a horse show.
    II. Nessa gets hurt during the horse show.
    III. Nessa's mother gets angry at Bertie and blames the whole thing on him.
    (etc)

    Then I would go on writing my story after that point. Once I started to get more information about horse shows, my outline might look like this:

    I. Bertie and Nessa decide to enter their horse, Jack, in a horse show.
    a. Bertie borrows the entry fee from his dad.​
    II. Nessa gets hurt during the horse show.
    a. One of the judges, a friend of mean old Mrs. Soringen may have set up the hurdles so that Jack would trip on them and throw Nessa.
    b. Mrs. Soringen's son, Flavio, is expected to win the event but even though the corrupt judge has helped him by causing Jack to fall, he doesn't get the score he expected and throws a temper tantrum when the scores are given.​
    III. Nessa's mother gets angry at Bertie and blames the whole thing on him.
    (etc.)

    So I use the outline to keep from getting sidetracked, basically. I can just outline the part that I need to do research on and keep working on the rest of the story.

    I hope this helps to answer your question. yours in Chaos, Scarlett
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can't really outline how many chapters there will be before you write the book...

    all you outline to begin with, is the plot and subplots, so you'll have some idea of what to write...

    after you have a complete first draft, you'll be able to see how many chapters it divides itself into and at that point, you can make up what's called the 'chapter outline' which contains the gist of each chapter...
     
  11. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    I don't even write chapters. I just write what happens next. When I'm doing a rough draft and just trying to figure out how things are going to go, I don't bother to worry about separation the writing into different sections on top of everything else.

    An outline could be so many things too. Since I don't really use chapters, I'll have sort of a check list of events that I want to happen in some general order.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't outline, but I do have chapters from the start. The chapter divisions, and the order in which the chapters appear, are subject to change, but there are pieces of story I accumulate as chapters.
     
  13. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    I don't write outlines, it always seems too rigid. Instead I write a stream of conscious and musing that helps me solidify things in my head (usually in my lunch break) and I can look back over if needs be. It's all safely tucked in a little notebook. The topics tend to change lots like 'main events', 'characters' so on so forth. But I don't usually break my work up into chapters before hand as it seems to find it's own natural breaks.
     
  14. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    I'd go with Mamma here, not worrying about the number or length of chapters, at least not in the first draft. Sure, I construct a brief chapter outline, or track, as I write, but it's the writing that determines the initial length of the chapter (for me). The writing in the moment, if that makes sense to you. My focus is more on my mc's journey and the direction I want him to go in; how he acts and reacts to his situation, endeavouring to overcome obstacles blocking his immediate and overall objectives. Just write. Get it down and then enjoy the shaping and honing of the real story during redrafting.
     

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