Thursday, April 7, 2011

When your outline goes off track

I have written a lot of stories.  I started when I was probably around 6 or 7 years old.  They were never complicated and normally simple tails about pre-existing events or people (Fan Fic!).  Most of the stories were strictly video game related.  If I was playing 'Mario Bros.' then my MC was more often than not, Mario himself.  Normally it would be my own spin on why he was saving (or capturing) the princess. Back then, I never really outlined, I just allowed myself to become caught up in the story as it was forming.

When Mario was leaping potted plants and jumping on top of turtles, I was WITH him... in the action.  I would spend my free time creating elaborate, to me, stories that took the video game and made it my own.

With writing now, everything has gotten so...sterile.  I'm not saying outline's are bad... far from it actually.  I always outline my stories, and I highly suggest if you're new to writing as an exercise that you do so as well.  It helps.

Anyhow, what I mean by sterile is... it's all about deadlines and NaNoWriMo contests.  So many people are concerned about 'how much' or 'how many', fewer people seem to comment on the key part of their story-the story. 

If you outline something and your MC seems to pull against your outline... stop and reread what you've written.

Did you mean to move the direction you're going?  Does it feel natural or unnatural to move that direction?  Maybe that's the direction you NEEDED to go, maybe that's the way the story SHOULD go.  I could be wrong, but to me, a revision isn't limited to only the 1st/2nd/3rd drafts of your story but of the complete story... outline/MS/cover/etc.

Double check your work, maybe your MC is smarter than you give him/her/it credit for.

- KT

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