I used to jot out loose outlines. Sometimes they would get more detailed as the story progressed. I’d think of something I want to add up ahead and add it to the mess of notes and scribbles on the few sheets of paper I had mapped everything out on.
But the more I write the more I trust my characters, my stories. With each tale I outline less. I still write out the base idea, it’s usually just a short description of what the story may or may not become to remind myself I want to write it later. That’s if I don’t just wing it and sit down to go crazy on my thoughts.
This has been working well for me. My stories are flowing better. I’m sharpening my skills without worrying over constraints. It’s been fun.
I’m currently finishing the 3rd book in my Embracing Entropy Series. This science fiction series has had so many curves and forks in the road that I am now having to go back and compile character charts and important details.
I don’t usually have to go to the trouble, but when writing a series you need all your bases covered. When I pull up all the notes I’ve made, I realize they look a lot like a loose outline. Apparently I’m going in reverse. haha
My reverse outline is helping me to wrap this baby up with the cohesion all stories need. When it come to writing I always say there is no one method. With me there seem to be different routes with each story, sometimes each chapter.
My wackado way of writing does lead to bumps in the road sometimes. The longer a story, the more you need to remember and connect. Going back to make sure that all of the details fit is just another editing tool. Reverse outlining may sound like working backwards, or saving certain obstacles for editing. That’s how I work best. Get the story out and make sure it reads smoothly in editing.
Embracing the changes my writing style seems to need has kept me going. At least I’ll never get bored. I don’t have a regular routine. Sometimes I do have creative patterns, but just when I get comfortable a new story, or an old story still being told decided to break me out before I can get into a rut. And I love every second of it!