Thank you Nancy Drew Too

lighteningI can’t start writing my nanowrimo story until November 1st and that’s killing me. I feel like all these ideas bouncing around in my brain are going to fade before I can start. Even when I jot things down the feeling and purpose behind the idea gets lost in translation when I read the notes later.

You, Nancy Drew Too, gave me a brilliant idea. I’ve tried like crazy to figure how to outline my nanowrimo story.

I’ve tried this…

Holly Lisle’s Notecard Plotting –Every time I picked up an index card my mind went blank.

And this…

Outlining your novel in thirty minutes by Alicia Rasley –Same thing, it was very frustrating.

This…

Template Novel Outline –I’m sure this works for other writers but not me.

One more…

The Snowflake Method –Don’t get me started on Mister Good fiction doesn’t just happen

I’ve said many times before–outlining only drags me down. But my two-week break from writing really threw me off and broke my confidence. Instead of doing what I usually do I decided to try outlining again hoping to slowly get back into the grove of things. I thought by outlining I could let the ideas marinate for a while but the ideas stopped coming every time I tried. Unfortunately the more organized I try to be the less creative I am, which is crazy–and I hate it–but it is what it is.

Instead of writing an outline I’m going to Flash 55 my ideas. Most of the story comes to me in flashes of dialogue or waves of thought from my characters anyway. This makes flash fiction perfect and explains why outlining never works for me.

The writing gods have spoken–lesson learned. I’m giving up on outlines permanently. Thanks again Natasha!

10 thoughts on “Thank you Nancy Drew Too

  • I wonder if the flash 55 is more effective because the dialogue exchanges and the scene setting help the characters stay real–Just a thought.

    Thanks for posting the links above. My muse never seems to do anything the same way twice, so I will add these ideas to my arsenal.

    • The method seems to follow along with how the ideas come into my head. It really is working for me, although they end up being more like flash 60s or 70s but it’s the same method. I write down the initial exchange of dialogue that comes to mind then stop. I figure I’ll fit it in somewhere when I’m actually writing the novel.

      Also, check this out. http://www.fmwriters.com/Visionback/Issue%2015/phase.htm This seems like it could be work for me. It may help me come up with an effective timeline of events.

      • This incorporates much more detail in an outline than what I have been using. I think it may also help me. Especially for the soggy/saggy middles that seem to be where I lose the most steam.

        If this works I am forever greatful!

  • Dayner, THANK YOU for the accolades! I didn’t realize until I started cranking FF 55’s out that something about it actually worked for me! Hope it does for you.

    FWIW, my very first FF 55 used a very detailed ‘idea generating’ process that I found online (I linked to it in my first FF 55 post). That process took me hours, felt like work, and the final product is, eh. The others I’ve just started writing.

    I think you hit the nail on the head (or one of the nails on one of the heads) DS about FF 55 helping the characters stay — or get — real.

    • I don’t know if what I’m writing fits the rules for flash fiction but it certainly is helping. I glimpsed the link before when you posted it but didn’t have time to really pay much attention. I’ll try to go back to it today. I agree with DS, the little flashes of dialogue do make them more real for me–much more then just note taking.

  • I looked at the snowflake method and decided I didn’t like it, or its author. But, hey, I should probably try to have an open mind.

    Certainly your idea of starting your writing list with tequila and lime has merit.

    • The Snowflake method confused me while I was reading it. Maybe if I took my time and physically worked through it I may have a different opinion. But who has time for that now! We begin in 5 days!

      The method on Writing.com is closest to the method I used for this project. Yeah, I know I said I wasn’t going to, but I couldn’t resist….

  • kathanink

    I haven’t read any of Natasha’s ideas, but I picked up on the fact that you feel like your confidence is low because you took some time off. This happens to me EVERY time I take more than 1 day off of writing. What I try to do to get back into it is do some kind of easy writing exercise (like Flash 55). It sounds like that’s what you’re doing, but I just wanted to encourage you!

    • Thank you, I need all the encouragement I can get right now. I took two weeks to deal with family issues and that’s about two weeks longer then I’ve taken off since I started writing.

  • Life happens. Of course you needed to take the time off that you did. And it is NOT wasted in terms of your writing — experience never is.

    That two weeks allowed stuff to percolate and mix and it’ll come up and out in your writing.

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