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I used to be an obsessive outliner - figuring that writing without an outline was like jumping off a cliff and building a parachute on the way down.
One guy wanted an outline of my foot. Another guy wanted locks of my hair.
I love the Web, but the basis of my work is going through the physical books. When you go to the library, you see other books around on the shelves that you never knew existed. You can flip through a book and see the whole outline of it.
For me it's more important that I outline all the facets of a controversial issue and let the reader make up his or her mind. I don't care if readers change their minds, but I would like readers to ask themselves why their opinion is what it is.
I routinely oscillate between exultation and despair. Maybe at the end of the day I feel pretty good about what I've written, but the next morning I see that it's crap. Then I start again - make a new outline, do some more research, try to rethink the whole question.
I write stuff down. I have a chalkboard in the kitchen where I will scrawl stuff down if I have a faint outline of an idea. And I'll go into my office or whatever. But that goes from format to format.
I binge write, basically. I do a lot of prep, research, setup. I'll have a pretty detailed outline. Sort of like a beat outline. And then I'll add little notes and dialogue ideas, and I'll just create a 20-page document.
I read round the subject, I make a skeleton outline, and then I start work in the relevant archives. During the marshaling of the material, I copy the material from each archive file across to the relevant chapter in the skeleton outline.
There's an outline for each of the books that I adhere to pretty closely, but I'm not averse to taking it in a new direction, as long as I can get it back to where I need it to go.
I don't outline at all; I don't find it useful, and I don't like the way it boxes me in. I like the element of surprise and spontaneity, of letting the story find its own way.
I never played Freddy as real. In the true bible of Wes Craven's outline for the films, Freddy only manifests himself in dreams. And a lot goes into a dream, not the least of which is imagination. So Freddy is secondhand information. Freddy is an urban legend that's been handed down to these teenagers over the years.
One can, in principle, outline sort of a set of neural circuits that are critically involved and even identify disorders that affect different components of that neural circuit and see what happens if you knock out, for example, inability to recognize faces, how it affects your response to portraiture.
SOON was the first novel where I used a rough outline. Usually I have characters and an idea and write as a process of discovery. Like working without a net.
Jerry B. Jenkins
That was, in writing the 'Twilight' script I had about five weeks to write that. I'd taken about a month to write the outline and then it was slam into a script and write it down fast because the writer's strike was looming.
The first sequel thing I wrote was this 'Forever Dawn' thing that will never get out, because it's horrid. But it's a really good outline for 'Breaking Dawn' - it's very similar. I knew what I was doing, which is good, because I think if I hadn't, there might have been a lot of pressure.
In my stand-up, I generally improvise from an outline.
The outline is 95 percent of the book. Then I sit down and write, and that's the easy part.
I don't write a play from beginning to end. I don't write an outline. I write scenes and moments as they occur to me. And I still write on a typewriter. It's not all in ether. It's on pages. I sequence them in a way that tends to make sense. Then I write what's missing, and that's my first draft.
Well, I outline fanatically. I am a long thinker and a slow writer, though I am trying to get faster.
The way I outline has changed quite a bit from when I first started writing.
I never know what's going to happen in a novel. I don't have a plan or an outline.
The important discovery I made very early is that my novels had to be written without any given plan or outline. I can't do it in any other way. But then they are dependent on the sentences, my intuition, and, as I have experienced many times, the subconscious.
I am a big outliner. For my adult book, 'The Visibles,' I did not outline, and it took me two years to write because I just didn't outline, and I had no path.
I outline fairly extensively because I'm usually dealing with real events. I don't need to give myself as much information as I used to, but I still like to have two pages of outline for every projected 100 pages of manuscript.
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
The way that I write novels in particular is I don't usually outline; I just write. Part of the fun is discovering what's happening in the story as I'm going along.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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