20,264 on Transformation last night, and moving right along. Vlad impressed me. That's hard to do. :)

The funny thing currently is the title--it stemmed from the prologue, but there are other characters transforming as well. So it's fitting all around.

I'm curious as to how other people write, but when I see that a lot of people use outlines (and stick to them) I wonder just how that works, creativity-wise. I know that my subconscious/muse/ or wherever the stories come from can't work from an outline. If the story's going well, then I may know what happens next, but I won't know what happens after that until I write what happens next. If I was ever required to submit an outline before writing the book, I wouldn't be able to do it. I write like I read (unless you're one of the people who flip forward *grin*), only I can't flip forward to see if someone lives in the end. I don't know.

And sometimes they surprise even me. That's what derailed SYWTBAV twice--because they delivered these two surprises into my lap and I had no idea what to do with them.

Writing like this is the closest thing I can get to real life for my characters. After all, none of us knows what will happen tomorrow. We think we know; we know what should happen tomorrow based on what has happened in the past or schedules we think we have to obey, but there's no guarantee at all. The outlines of our lives are incomplete, broken things. Why, then, do writers insist on controlling their stories so completely? Is it because they can't *really* control their own lives? It makes me wonder.

I have a medium-long list of things to do today--I didn't get a lot done this weekend, but I did make a couple of decisions that needed to be made. (I sometimes wonder if I'll remember what decisions they were years from now when I reread this blog, but most of the time, I do.) They were good decisions, in truth. And they needed to be thought about.

One of the decisions is to spend more time out in the woods this year, taking pictures and just allowing the solitude and the beauty around me to strengthen my resolve on a lot of things.

What do I need to be happy? Evidently not much. More on that later. :)

Comments

Vicki said…
I don't use outlines, not even a sketchy one. I will sometimes do character sketches, or "short" stories to flesh out a character's background. Not often, but sometimes. I have to write in the order of the story. I can stop and start something new with the same characters if I get stuck, but I have to go in order with the story. So if I get stuck, I just have to wait until the solution comes to me. I don't like skipping ahead.
Jennifer said…
Yes. I'm a linear writer too. I forgot that part. :)
david a holgate said…
My wife is the fiction writer in our family, but from my experience of re-imagining and retelling biblical narratives, I agree that you have to 'go with what happens as your narrative unfolds' rather than make it happen. i.e. Even if the official bible version goes another way. Partly this happens via the viewpoint of the character who's telling the story. In this way I think a writer learns from the characters.
Jenny said…
I write outlines, but I don't necessarily stick to them. It comforts me to have the outline so that I have something to consult if I can't figure out what to do next. But then the story diverges from the outline because my characters have come up with something better. So I write a new outline based on the new information, to comfort me until the next divergence comes along. :)

Oh, the one exception was the two Three-Day Novels I wrote. I stuck to the outline because I was writing too fast to let the story grow, I think.
Grey said…
NRL uses outlines, so I tried 'em. No dice.

I start in the middle, with scenes that unfold vividly in my head. Then I stitch them together with narrative.

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