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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Detailed Should An Outline Be?

Progress! 

Those that continue to read along know I changed directions recently and began writing a short story that is related to the world or Ryndaria.  This short story is practice for Trezl's story.  I still have a lot to learn about writing, and I am enjoying all the different opportunities I have to practice being creative.  I am more motivated now than ever before.

Yesterday, I named the short story and completed a rough outline from start to finish!  I am excited about the mini-milestone, but now the work begins!

My question for the day to writers out there:  how detailed are your notes and outlines before you start writing?

Personally, I struggle taking a vague thought our outline and then fleshing out the details.  My writer's block flares up and I nitpick every word choice because I do not have the details already written down.

On the other hand, when I wrote the battle sequence with Trezl I released earlier this year (you can still download it from the links on the right side of the webpage!), I drew the details of the fight out on paper before I started using words.  This made the writing much easier, since I already knew all the details.  To write the scene, I simply described what I already had defined.  I did not need to figure out *what* to describe, only how to describe it.

I made significant progress this way and finished 5,000 words in just a little over a week.  Before that, I wrote in uneven spurts and many times walked away from my computer frustrated without writing anything.

As I write the short story, I find myself struggling again as I did before.  I decided I need to build up to the actual writing if I want to be happy with the results.  So now, I have a rough outline of the entire story.  Next, I will begin mapping out all the chapters/scenes of the story.  From there, I will outline and detail each scene.  Finally, I will write the actual scenes.  Then, it will be time to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite and find help proofreading so I can prepare the story for release!

I am curious what others do about this when writing.  Please leave comments or find me on twitter!