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Outline or Discovery? Options · View
EDWolfe
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013 11:17:40 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/5/2013
Posts: 1,033
Location: United States
The method I use to create my stories is generally a discovery method. I have a vague idea of where I want to go, but in most cases I don't write it down. I do have some projects that I prepare outlines for, so I can figure out which method is better for me. But this got me thinking which method is preferred here.

What method do you prefer, outlining your story or discovering where it goes? Why do you choose your method? Have you ever tried the other method?
AbigailThornton
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013 4:04:36 AM

Rank: Story Verifier
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Posts: 762
Location: Masturbation Jail, United Kingdom
I don't have 'methods' - that sounds like a definition from a writing book and I'm hard to define.

Sometimes the whole story is 'posted' into my head and I just write it down as best I can. Sometimes I start with nothing and 'just write'. Other times I have an ending / middle that I write and then have to 'get to' with the rest of the story. Sometimes I start with a story I'm not happy with and re-write it.

Just do what feels right, the method which gets the story in your head into words on the page / screen.

AbigailThornton
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013 4:09:39 AM

Rank: Story Verifier
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Joined: 7/8/2012
Posts: 762
Location: Masturbation Jail, United Kingdom
I don't have 'methods' - that sounds like a definition from a writing book and I'm hard to define.

Sometimes the whole story is 'posted' into my head and I just write it down as best I can. Sometimes I start with nothing and 'just write'. Other times I have an ending / middle that I write and then have to 'get to' with the rest of the story. Sometimes I start with a story I'm not happy with and re-write it.

Just do what feels right, the method which gets the story in your head into words on the page / screen.

AbigailThornton
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013 4:10:16 AM

Rank: Story Verifier
Moderator

Joined: 7/8/2012
Posts: 762
Location: Masturbation Jail, United Kingdom
I don't have 'methods' - that sounds like a definition from a writing book and I'm hard to define.

Sometimes the whole story is 'posted' into my head and I just write it down as best I can. Sometimes I start with nothing and 'just write'. Other times I have an ending / middle that I write and then have to 'get to' with the rest of the story. Sometimes I start with a story I'm not happy with and re-write it.

Just do what feels right, the method which gets the story in your head into words on the page / screen.

naughtyannie
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013 4:37:23 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/8/2011
Posts: 1,950
Location: London, United Kingdom
Sometimes I have to write things out three times, just to check they look right (lol)

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Dancing_Doll
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013 6:55:25 AM

Rank: Alpha Blonde
Moderator

Joined: 2/17/2010
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Location: Your dirty fantasy
Outline. Definitely.

I always map and sketch out the plot before I start writing. Things like what is going to happen, why is it going to happen, how is it going to end, and how do the characters need to act and come across in order for the action to be believable. I do the same thing whether it's a short story or a novel. Yes, there is still room to change things around, if during the process I get inspired by another idea or something doesn't feel right, but for the most part I think outlining and mapping is very important in creating a tight and cohesive story. The 'discovery' bit works better within a single scene where you can play with dialogue and character interaction, but I never lose sight of what plot point happens next and what needs to happen in order to effectively transition there.


Guest
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013 7:26:12 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 779,317
I have a general outline. I know what the general timeline is. I know the main events. I know a little bit about the characters. But as I write, the skeleton which I've already imagined becomes fleshed out not only by my actions, but by the characters', as well.
overmykneenow
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013 7:39:13 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/8/2010
Posts: 1,383
Location: United Kingdom
Outline. Without it, it's hard to imagine what you're producing is actually a story and not just a sequence of events.

Of course you shouldn't be a slave to your original outline - the writing process might introduce better ideas and options - but without the framework to hang it off it just seems to me you're asking for trouble tying it all together at the end.

I'm probably more inclined to support Outline because often I don't write my stories from start to finish - I'll often work on later parts or the end before completing the start

Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

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BrandonSP
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 2:33:20 PM

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Joined: 2/13/2013
Posts: 2
Location: San Diego, United States
Somewhere in the middle, insofar as I need at least a vague idea of where I want my story to go, but I don't necessarily have to write it down. So far this has worked all right for short stories, although I don't know if I could apply it to novels too.
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