1. Nexusfactor
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    Nexusfactor New Member

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    Using an Outline and Letting Others See it

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Nexusfactor, Jun 23, 2012.

    Two questions:

    1. Do you use outlines to help you plan out what your going to write?

    2. After being published, would you consider releasing your outline/notes to let your readers know what you were thinking? What inspired you? Or would you keep it private?
     
  2. Reptile Hazard
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    Reptile Hazard Member

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    1. I don't, as I find them a little restricting for my tastes. However, it does helps you keep things organized, so it depends on how much you actually need it and mostly personal preference.

    2. I've never been plubished so I really wouldn't know the legal side of this. But personally, I wouldn't.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    1. yes
    2. no, probably not, and I don't see why anyone would be interested either. Plus it doesn't say anything about what inspired me to write the story.
     
  4. thetyper
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    thetyper Member

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    No. If I have a concept I think it out in my mind, then plan the first few chapters and go. It holds together for a while but eventually needs tightening and replanning as it gets bigger.

    I make notes through the text as I go along and I don't see the point in letting anyone else see them as they become irrelevant as the story evolves. I can't imagine who would be interested to know when I had a certain idea or why I changed a character trait, etc!
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't make written outlines. I do keep all notes and drafts, for my own use only and for evidence in case of a copyright challenge.

    If my final work doesn't show what I was thinking, why compound it by publicly regurgitating the past?
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...not usually... only for non-fiction works that would call for one... or if the novel is so complex in re time frames [such as in historical fiction], or whatever, that some sort of pre-planning is a necessity...

    definitely not!... i've never heard of that being done by any professional writer, nor can i imagine any rational reason to do so...
     
  7. thetyper
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    thetyper Member

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    Not done by the writer, no, but such notes do exist because I have seen an early draft of Gatsby with notes. It was unbelievably rough by the way!
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    1. No.

    2. #1 makes this an easy decision :D
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course famous writers' [and others'] notes, etc. are put on display after their death and/or are sold/auctioned and collected by history/literature buffs, but i'm sure the authors and famouse folk themselves would never have released their notes, early drafts, outlines and such to the public... and i suspect in most, if not all cases, would spin in their graves if they knew that had been done... it is, after all, a form of intellectual, necrophilial rape, the exposing of one's most private thoughts and flaws, without their permission...
     
  10. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    1) For me an outline is important, but only when it is a non-restrictive, "living" document that changes on a frequent basis. I can't imagine being a writer who spends months on an outline and then sits down and writes a novel strictly to that outline's specification. I prefer to outline chapters as I'm writing -- usually three or four in a stretch -- and if it occurs to me that the events of a prior chapter don't jive well with the next chapter on the outline, I change the outline. In essence, the outline is akin to an extremely condensed novel one is writing just ahead of the actual novel. To some it may seem like unnecessary work, but for me it really helps me to see the "big picture" as it were.

    2) No, I can't imagine I would.
     
  11. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Some of it depends on the outline, whether it is an exoskeleton or an endoskeleton. Is everything based around one iron bound document or is there room to move, to deviate? I take the endoskeleton approach, loosely structured and lending support, but flexible enough to be broken and reworked.

    I write historical fiction and epic fantasy, so I do use them occasionally to keep actual dates and battle sequences in order. As far as the actual story lines go, I don't use them. I keep a timeline when critical events take place, so my dates and inferences are parallel, but to outline the entire plot line becomes far too restricting.

    Part of the beauty of fiction is its fluidity, the ability to adapt a story to the curve balls strong characters can throw. Outlines have a place in writing, but can become a detriment if overused.

    As to the second question, my answer would have to be no. My thought process is my own. I don't need people following my every footstep or thought tangent. How I got from point A to point B is a journey that is meant to remain a mystery. :rolleyes:

    - Darkkin, the Tedious
     
  12. Nexusfactor
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    Nexusfactor New Member

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    All interesting answers. Seems everyone said no to the second question. Darkkin, you said what I was trying to say but couldn't find the words to. How an author gets from point A to point B is a journey that should remain a mystery.
     
  13. Estrade
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    1. Do you use outlines to help you plan out what your going to write? Increasingly.

    2. After being published, would you consider releasing your outline/notes to let your readers know what you were thinking? No. I can't see the point. It would just be a mess by then, anyway.
     
  14. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could put up some thoughts about your working processes on a blog if you want to inspire others, but I can't really see the point in putting up detailed outlines and notes if your book has been published.
     

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