Thursday, January 6, 2011

Unblocking Your Outline

Often when I plan, I get shiny new ideas to make my storyline better. Ideas such as "What if X met Y?" I love 'What if ...' and usually, I'm able to determine the circumstances in which the 'What if' would happen.

That's when I get blocked.

Not all the time, but it happens often enough that I've developped a way to get me out of it. It's not complicated. I just write the scene.

Most of the time I put next to no description, and very little actions. I'm a dialogue person, and since they are usually what moves my story forward, they are what I focus on. The goal is to get a rough scene out, to write in circle until I find out where this is supposed to go. My mind does it for most of the novel, but when I get stuck, I need to write things down to get somewhere.

In a way, this is a lot like what I do with my first drafts. I'm testing the grounds. I just let the creative juice out, knowing this will never make it into the novel. It's a great way to work out my storyline.

Hopefully it will get me past my current knot. I'm almost done replanning!


  1. I agree with you. Writing the scene is the best way to solve whatever problem is blocking your mind.

    Good luck. :-)

  2. I need to do this right now, but I'm always worried that I'll waste all that time writing a scene that will be cut. So I just keep storylining and storylining and eventually I'll get the answer (it truly is like someone turned on a light switch in my head) and then I feel like I can write again.

    Today maybe I'll just try writing though, and see what happens :)

  3. Write it, sticky! Write it with dozens of adverbs and every bookism you know. Write it as you would in November. ;) After all, all you need to find your idea is to get the juice flowing.

    And thanks Misha! I might need the luck.

  4. Great advice for a place I'm stuck on now. Thanks!