Writing Advice: Planning And Outlining

My mom asked me a few weeks ago if I plan out books I’ve written/am working on or if I make them up as I go. 

The answer is “yes” to both.

There are no set rules to writing, or how to get it done. One rule I would follow is to NOT start a story with a character waking up, unless they are in a body bag, but that’s another post for another day. 

All that matters is you got your writing done. Who cares how you got there? 

I tend to write down what I want to happen in the story and then make it happen. I also write chapters and scenes out of order. It makes it easier for me to make things happen in the story this way.

 When you are creating a  fictional universe, you get the chance to unleash your inner sociopath and play God. Regardless of your plans, things might change and that is okay. Which is why I said yes to both making things up and planning. If you are writing a complex fictional world where things are actually happening, things will happen along the way that force you to change things, hence playing God. 

If you choose to plan/outline here are some pointers: 

  1. Keep your notes in one place 

This is self explanatory. It’s much easier to keep everything you need relating to one project in a single location. Switch between apps/programs until you find the one that works best for you. I currently use Google Keep which is available across various platforms. I type up notes and ideas on the go and use them when the time comes. 

   2. Actually write stuff down 

I know it’s scary having to actually write something down. Sorry, fellow youngsters, we’re going back to 1999 and getting out our pen and paper! I find taking the pen to paper helps when I’m suffering from writer’s block. Removing yourself from technology and distractions is the best thing you can do for your creative projects. Turn off the Wi-Fi, close your laptop, and take a pen to your shiny, new notebook! 

To make this work, I recommend investing in a good notebook for this seemingly daunting task to be as enjoyable as possible. 

Moleskine is the king of all notebooks and my personal favorite. The hefty price tag is worth the investment in your writing. Unless you’re writing Fifty Shades Of Grey fan fiction. Then you just need to analyze your life choices. 

 

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For quality writing only. Image via. 

3. DON’T DELETE/THROW ANYTHING AWAY UNLESS YOU ARE SURE YOU DO NOT NEED IT! 

This is probably the most important and obvious. Let’s say you write down an outline for a chapter that you then decide to omit from your book. You then delete it. Later, you are writing and remember you had this awesome idea for X, but you don’t remember what said awesome idea was. You frantically search for it only to discover your dumbass deleted it. WHOMP WHOMP!

This is why you keep things.

As always, take my advice or don’t. Otherwise, write on.

 

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