Is creating outlines for a story worth the trouble?

Written By:Tadd

June 17, 2013
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Category: The Lab

As a constant dreamer of stories, I have a lot going on in the ol’ brain. Different stories, angles, and characters weave themselves throughout my sub-conciseness like ants through the anthill.

Sometimes this can be a great thing. It helps me to solidify a story, plot or idea and gives me a chance to explore different avenues. It gives a character life and makes him or her likable. It personifies the villain and proves to me why they’re despicable.

However, more often it muddies the water. Causes me to bounce around from idea to idea without landing and gives me trouble focusing the story. This is death to any writer.

Today marks the start of a new way for me to write. I’m setting down the pen for a few weeks and will start pushing myself to create a fairly detailed “item map” for a story. This includes characters, sub-characters, plots, and scenes.

This will, I hope, help me to focus on the story and know where things sit and how they fit. I can explore the characters and plots just as much but will help me to focus instead of writing randomly on a sheet of paper. That may work for some folks, but not for this guy.

What do you think? Is this a good way to approach writing?

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