I know you're all dying to know how I fared on my outlines this month. I suppose it's time for a status update.
Goal: Have three different outlines for three Shiny New Ideas ready to send off by Sept. 1. With each outline, include sample pages (about 50).
What I Actually Achieved: Two full outlines, with sample pages for both ideas. One with 93 pages, one with 57.
Grade: 2 out of 3 ain't bad, right? 66%? Okay, that's a D. Whatever.
So, how did I--self-proclaimed hater of outlines (and holy cow, are they hard!!)--do it?
So many of you provided links and whatnot to help. I'll admit that most of what I read made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. My brain just doesn't think that way. I loathe the Three Act Structure with every fiber in my heart and liver. Loathe.
But in the end, the explanations Alex Sokoloff's blog provided me with something that made a tiny bit of sense. I read her posts and took notes.
And then I started outlining. I learned several things from doing this:
1. My MC wasn't the most important character. I had to fix that up real fast.
2. Outlining is exactly like pantsing, except you make the crap up BEFORE you actually write it. Go figure.
And for the official record, outlining is MUCH harder. It's like concentrated thinking. With pantsing you can spread out the thinking over weeks or months. With outlining, it's like eating frozen orange juice concentrate straight from the can. It makes you cringe and pucker and salivate like a Great Dane. AND it's nasty.
3. Outlining causes me to stare aimlessly more than anything else. Seriously, I wasted hours of my life just staring.
4. The thought of outlining keeps me off the computer. Good thing I have a stack of books three feet high. And I have now seen every Chopped and Office episode.
5. Never write "outline" on your to-do list. You'll never cross it off. Ev-er. You just keep doing it until the breath has been sucked out of your body. Don't believe me? Try it.
So are you an outliner or a pantser? A little of both? What have you learned from outlining?