Tuesday, February 9, 2010
My Outlines Are Premises...Sort Of
I had an awesome story idea this morning, and I decided to start a project on it. Rather than do my usual however (see, I'm learning), I grabbed a notepad and pencil and started writing a rough outline. Have no fear, all you pantsters out there. I have not gone to the darkside. I'm just trying to improve my writing so that I can still write by the seat of my pants - albeit within a rough framework.
As I started writing it out however, I noticed that instead of writing Chapter 1 - do this, Chapter 2, do that, I was writing ideas. I'm not completely disappointed in my process though, because I was able to map my way through the story (sort of).
One interesting thing I notice (looking back on it) is that I was thinking about some important things, such as why my MC wants to do this instead of that or why the antagonist(s) are in conflict. I scratched out this sentence or that one, realizing that it wasn't working. It was really fun.
Now I have a (extremely) rough framework, but at least I know the rough path the story should take. I know where to begin, what the middle will consist of (okay, a little shaky here, will need filling to be good), and how the story will end up. There's still plenty of room in there for being a pantster, which satisfies my creative muse quite fine.
The question I pose to all of you is this - what makes it an outline as opposed to a premise or synopsis? And does it really matter?