Outlining

Something I have been working on lately (in fact it was pretty much all I was working on over the last few days) has been making outlines of my story ideas, which, if you have read my earlier blogs, is a considerable number, close to one hundred. I got a new notebook and decided to utilize it strictly as a way to sketch out the ideas.

I write down the story number and the title, and then below that I make a series of notes, with genre, setting, protagonist, antagonist, length and finally, the outline. So far I have made brief outlines for over thirty ideas, with the outlines at this point being just a paragraph of how the story should go. Some of the ideas are short-stories, but I was pleasantly surprised at how many ended up being ideas that will turn into novels. The longer sketches will get further details as I get closer to writing them.

I always try to write my ideas down, even if it is just a title or sentence. I think this is definitely important for writers. If I don’t write it down, it rarely sticks around in my head long enough to remember later. So many great concepts I have come up with have been swallowed by the ether when I got lazy and didn’t jot something down. On the flip side, I have some story titles I did write down and for the life of me, I cannot remember what they were about. Now I try to write down more than just the title.

I know I am fortunate to have such a fertile imagination, it is something I have always been blessed with, but it requires more than just story ideas. It takes perseverance, dedication, discipline and a willingness to do the boring work of editing — this last one is my biggest struggle, and if I am to succeed, than I have to apply myself much more to editing, and not just the fun act of writing something new.

I will check back later tonight to update my progress.

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