Quote of the Day
Commas in The New Yorker fall with the precision of knives in a circus act, outlining the victim.
E. B. White
Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
E. L. Doctorow
I spend eight months outlining and researching the novel before I begin to write a single word of the prose.
The benefit of this kind of outlining is that you discover a story's flaws before you invest a lot of time writing the first draft, and it's almost impossible to get stuck at a difficult chapter, because you've already done the work to push through those kinds of blocks.
Picasso's superhuman gift for draftsmanship might have made him lazy about pursuing the full potential of color. It was not unusual for him to build a composition by first outlining figures and objects in black and then filling the interstices in a perfunctory manner that can put one in mind of a museum-shop coloring book.
I am a hopeless pantser, so I don't do much outlining. A thought will occur to me, and I'll just throw it into the story. I tell myself I'll worry about untangling it later. I'm glad no one sees my first drafts except for my poor editor and agent.
I don't like outlining, because books are organic things. Sometimes a book doesn't want to be written in a certain way.
Outlining is not writing. Coming up with ideas is not writing. Researching is not writing. Creating characters is not writing. Only writing is writing.
I spend about eight months researching and outlining my book.
Outlining is like putting on training wheels. It gives me the courage to write, but we always go off the outline.
I'm a big fan of outlining. Here's the theory: If I outline, then I can see the mistakes I'm liable to make. They come out more clearly in the outline than they do in the pages.
In the pre-production process, I am emailing with the actors or jumping on the phone, and we're sort of figuring out who the characters are and trying to build the relationship dynamic and things like that. Then, also, I am outlining.
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