A new list member asked about outlining; how to, more than why to (or why not to.)
Below is an enormous excerpt from my cute little book Getting Your Book Out of the Someday Box. While it describes my nonfiction writing process, it’s really an information-gathering-and-sorting process, which, in a way, is what outlining is about.
If this raises more questions than it answers, as I fear it will, ask and ye shall receive.
… more … “Outlining My Feelings On Outlining”
The world would not be complete without Jeeves and Wooster.
Most of you know Hugh Laurie as the irascible Gregory House, doctor extraordinaire, human being just barely. But years ago he and his best bud and comedy partner Stephen Fry played the leads in A&E’s televisation of some of P. G. Wodehouse‘s Jeeves and Wooster stories. Track them down if you like a good story and some 1930s English wit.
In one adventure, Bertie (that is, Bertram Wilberforce Wooster, whose last name was, in the mists of the distant past spelled “Worcester” like the shired sauce you put on your burger) and his greatest detractor, Sir Roderick Glossop, are both in black face (as in, we were going minstrelling down the pub with Al Jolson) hiding in the shrubbery outside Glossop’s own house, tearing and dirtying their formal dinnerwear (that would be tuxedos.)
How in blazes did they get there? … more … “Back Into Your Ending”
Pantsers seem to take umbrage, sometimes extreme, to my statement that planning is vital to writing.
Let’s get what I hope is an unbiased definition of “plan” from Merriam Webster:
plan verb: to think about and arrange the parts or details of (something) before it happens or is made
Let’s consider writing without planning:
… more … “All Writers Plan”
If you start writing before you know how your novel ends you are wasting time.
Unless you know the ending, once you arrive you won’t have built in foreshadowing. Your characters will have unrealistic inconsistencies. Scenes will make the wrong points. Your theme won’t be emphasized.
You’ll have to go back and rewrite the whole thing to have any hope of making it right.
“Writing is re-writing!” you shout with glee.
And I say, that’s ridiculous.
… more … “If You’re Pantsing Without Planning You’re Wasting Time”