Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Should’ve Zigged Instead of Zagged

How often do you write yourself into a corner and how do you escape?

I rarely write myself into a corner, mostly because I’m an outliner.point a to point b

Of course, I outline myself into a corner all the time.

But the great thing about word processors is their cut-and-paste function. So I play around, adding scenes, deleting scenes, rearranging scenes, trying to find the best fit or testing out new sequences and new ideas. Different, more compelling, paths to the final destination. If I like the new order, or some variation of it, then it stays.

If not, I hit DELETE, and try again.

When it comes to the actual writing, I don’t slavishly follow my outlines, so I have been known to go astray (once or twice or several hundred times). Usually, I’ll just plow ahead, knowing that certain subplots or threads or tangents will need to be changed. I’ll make a note in the figurative margins, or I’ll highlight a scene in a different color, so that when I go back for the next draft, I’ll know I need to fix things in order to have my story make sense.

In other words, I usually address all the disjointed stuff when I work through the revision process. (After all, they (whoever they are) say that a good book isn’t written, it’s rewritten.)

In the first draft, I have one goal—to get it finished. BICFOK*, all the way!

Full speed ahead!


*Butt In Chair, Fingers On Keyboard

(This entry is “simul-posted” on Criminal Minds.)



Patricia Stoltey said...

I don't outline at all and rely on revisions to get the parts where they belong. For me, it's all about finishing that first draft, but I'm a binge writer, so it happens in bits and pieces. I do not advise anyone to do it my way. :D84 isesDAA

Alan Orloff said...

Hi Pat! Binge writing is a lot like binge drinking, I've heard :)