Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I don't outline. But neither does my new BFF Stevo, so there!


As I have started my revision I have struggled over this whole outlining thing. The truth is that I have never outlined. It’s not that I don’t know where my book is going - it’s just that I find it impossible to be creative in an outline. I can only think out of the box while I’m writing (or chatting on the phone).

I have great friends, like Shelli, who are incredible outliners and are able to get way creative during that process, but me? 'Fraid not.
Those short sentences feel like jail bars. I can’t do it. I just can’t!

BUT, by God’s grace, I picked up On Writing, By Stephen King, this week. This book has been sitting on my bedside table in a big stack of books for over a year. I was hesitant to read it because the truth is that I can not read horror books - or watch horror movies. They scare the crap out of me and I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to relate to his book. But boy was I wrong!

It’s a book about process. It's not scary at all! In fact, it's rather fascinating.

And guess what? He doesn’t outline either, so I’m a new fan.

Therefore Dear Readers, I give you the FREEDOM to be the creative souls that God made you and write however it flows out. Perhaps I am a strange breed of savant, whose creative process defies logic like Chris Martin’s. And perhaps so are you! (His "process" is about 7 minutes in and it's almost exactly like mine - fragmented and random - but the whole interview is great.)
I wonder what else lies in wait on my bedside table?

Katie

PS. Speaking of “FREEDOM”, I use this now and love it! But you have to have a Mac to use it - sorry. (Did I punctuate that sentence wrong?)

16 comments:

Solvang Sherrie said...

I keep hearing how good On Writing is. Like you, I'm not into horror so I never picked it up. But if you recommend it, Katie, I'll have to read it :)

And thanks for the freedom link. I'd never heard of that!

Christina Lee said...

oo-oo-oo-ooh I don't either- yeah!! Add in Chris Martin and I'm feel pretty good too!

Aimee States said...

I love On Writing...he's never used a crit group either. *GASP*

And he's my BFF, so maybe we have some signals crossed here?

storyqueen said...

On Writing is a book that I really enjoyed....and I can't do the horror thing either. Nor can I outline. Mostly because the Outline Lies.

(Love Chris Martin!)

Shelley

Corey Schwartz said...

Ha! New BFF Stevo? Katie, you are so cute!

I think I'd probably have to outline if I wrote novels. But whatever you're doing seems to be working so stick with it!

Little Ms J said...

Very good book! So many agents at the Backspace Conference recommended it!

Tamika: said...

I am doing my happy dance! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Lord!

I do not, probably will not ever outline. Like you I just break out in cold sweats.

Great posts!

Hardygirl said...

Okay, that book has been sitting in my Amazon queue for years. I'll go and press the "buy it" link.

I outline after my first draft--just so I can get a feel for the big picture and work on the structure. I can't imagine outlining on the front end, either. I like for those characters to tell me where they want to go.

sf

Lisa and Laura said...

Girls, for the record, Stephen King books are SO much more than horror. The Stand is a work of genius. Seriously.

Um..and Freedom? I think you might have just changed my life. I love you.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

okay...are you mad at me? SO sorry to miss out this morning! it just hit me all of a sudden that i had somewhere to be. :( next week. let's do it.

Katie said...

Sherrie! Hey girl! Go get the book and definitely try Freedom :-)

Christina - Did you watch the Chris Martin interview? It's great!

Aimee - I'm sorry to have stolen your BFF, but yeah, we're tight now.

Shelley - that's awesome "The Outline lies." Mine sure do...

Corey - Hey there! Thanks!

Ms. J - I passed your name along to my friend Catherine today - she might write you. Oh! And please write a post about Nisus.

Tamika - Right on! Thank you, Jesus!

Hi SF :-)

Lila - Why didn't I mention Freedom earlier?! Especially in light of your addiction! It's awesome!

Jeannie - Of course I'm not mad! We'll hook up another time :-)

Robin said...

On Writing is my favorite writing book. Ever. I re-read it about once a year. Probably because he cusses and that makes me laugh.

And strangely enough, I received a comment on my blog this morning from someone pretending to be Stephen King. Or at least that's what I think...he signed it "SK." But it was a rant about the evils of social networking and how sad I'll be when I'm 90 and never wrote that book because I was too busy networking. I'm guessing it was an impersonator because I don't think Stephen King cares about my evil social networking enough to lecture me about it so early in the morning. Or maybe not??? Maybe he's MY best friend. Haha.

Tere Kirkland said...

On Writing is a definite must have for any writer's resource shelf.

My Wednesday post on The Lesser Key was about writing scene goals, a few quick sentences of what you need to happen to propel the plot forward.

It's not as frightening as outlining, and no one says you actually have to do what the scene goal tells you-- just as long as you know you've thought through your options, the scene goal works.

Great post!

Jessica said...

I've tried outlines too, but they never have helped me when it comes to writing fiction.
Maybe, I will have to check this book out. I'm not a Horror fan either so I never keep up the books that Stephen King writes.

Anne Spollen said...

I used to do outlining, and still do sometimes. The problem is the outline never matches what I end up writing. It's as if I'm editing the outline.

I think everyone has to find their own way to writing.

The pale observer said...

I am only an amateur, writing by heart and by passion. i don't even know about outlining. Can't imagine that.

I will definitely look for the book AND since I have a new Mac, the Freedom thing too!

Thanks!

Your new reader, Holli in Ghana

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