Outline or Crash ahead?

For my first novel, Hack the Yak, I just started writing, mostly character sketches.  Then wove the people together into a plot.  Call it the Crash Ahead writing method.  I loved writing that first draft, typos and inconsistencies included.  I’d just sit down and throw myself at my characters and watch ‘em react.  The plot suffered.  Stuff happened in Spring that should have happened in Winter.  Characters ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Subplots wrenched control away from the main plot .  But, ahhh, it was fun.

Early in the novel I’m working on now, I joined two writing groups.  We’ve had some discussion on the subject.  I got fired up about using an outline and began assembling (electronic) index cards to sort out the plot.  I just couldn’t get into the outlining business.  Too much like work.  But I could see that the plot would benefit.  So, being a middle-of-the-road, see-both-sides-and-generally-stay-in-the-middle kind of guy, I produced a fairly detailed synopsis, then got back to what I like doing, generally following the synopsis.  We’ll see how it goes.

5 thoughts on “Outline or Crash ahead?

  1. I did exactly the same thing on my first novel and am trying the index card approach too for the second. In the first, the characters are good, but I always felt like the real story/plot/whatever stayed in my head. Let us know how it goes.

  2. John, I’m like that too. I just like to forge ahead. I do a loose outline but I’m not married to it. Although, it does help me to stay on course. Let us know how it goes for you.

  3. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any help is very much appreciated.|

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s