This topic contains 21 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  ClaireC 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #29863

    ClaireC
    @clairec
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 423

    No, I’m not finished my book, just my extended outline. I know, not an amazing achievement for most of you, probably, but for me, with not much writing background, and this being my first novel, it actually is a pretty big achievement. 🙂 I may be just a little bit excited. *hee hee!* *someone please pat me on the back*
    So now I have a few questions.
    1. How many of you write extended outlines? Or do you simply start with a basic outline, or just dive in at the first draft?
    2. How long did it take you for your outline? Mine took about 3 months, but I wasn’t working on it solidly.
    3. What software do you use for your first draft/or even outline? I have written my outline in long hand (now my hand hurts!), and am writing my first draft in Scrivener.
    4. If you write historical fiction, do you research before or after your outline? I did relatively in depth research of WWII and the Kokoda Track, etc. when the idea was a tiny seed, and have left the tiny details and proper research of certain scenes for as I go.

    One of the perks of being finished and working on my first draft, is that I can actually say I’m writing a book. Technically I was before, too, but as it was only an outline, I didn’t feel I could say in all honesty, “I’m writing a book’. You know, ’cause I wasn’t writing it yet…

    #29865

    ClaireC
    @clairec
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 423
    #29868

    Gideon
    @gideon-sowdon
    • Rank: Wise Jester
    • Total Posts: 58

    1. I tried to started writing an outline once. but not for the almost three and a bit 1 drafts fro all the stories iv’e started writing.
    2. —
    3. I use word for all my writing.(and I’m about to do some right now.)
    4. —

    #29869

    Louise Fowler
    @perfectfifths
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 478

    @clairec *pats you on the back* Much congrats, girl! 😀 That’s super exciting!

    As for your questions:
    I don’t do extended outlines, because I find if I plan too much, I lose inspiration and motivation for that story. So I just stick with having a basic plot, a few planned ideas, and mostly winging it. Recently, however, I have revived a story I over-planned last year, because the ideas were good, and it seemed a shame to let it go to waste.

    When writing in general I use MS Word.

    I don’t write historical fiction, but I would like to get into it. As for research, your method sounds pretty solid. Getting a basic idea of your main theme/plot/whatever and then learning about the little tidbits as you go.

    Again, congratulations! 😀

    #29870

    Jane Maree
    @jane-maree
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 733

    @clairec *slaps you on the back enthusiastically* GO CLAIRE, THAT’S GREAT!!

    1. I’m a bit of a recklessly slap out a rough outline and then dive straight on into the writing. It works for me.
    2. My outlines usually only take me a month at most when I’m just roughly plotting it out and not going into any huge depth or anything. (For example, I plotted my NaNoWriMo novel out starting halfway through October, and then wrote the novel in November fine.)
    3. YASSS SCRIVENER. Scrivener is the best. I use that. My outlines are literally just a dot-point list – one dot point usually equaling 1-2 chapters.
    4. Some what of research, but not a ton. I usually either just base off what I already know as I’m writing the first draft, or else I put a comment on the side and remind myself to come back later and fix up the details after a research session. But it would probably be a better idea to do it your way. XD Because then there’s not as much editing the mess later.

    Yes. You’re writing a book. You can do the thing. *gives you a heap of motivational pizza* Good on you.

    #29871

    Brandon Miller
    @brandon-miller
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 40

    Congratulations on finishing your outline! I wish I was that far along on my WIP. Outlining is /hard/ business! Way hard. So yes, you are finished! No pat on the back required. You da bomb.
    I write extended outlines, with lots of little details and all sorts of stuff that I completely ignore when I start writing. Don’t ask me why or how. Once I’m writing I just get a better feel for where the story needs to go, and the outline becomes less important.
    2. How long did it take you for your outline? Mine took about 3 months, but I wasn’t working on it solidly. Well… I’ve done it in as little time as an afternoon, but it has also taken me as long as a month. Depends on how much falling together it does on its own accord.
    3. What software do you use for your first draft/or even outline? I have written my outline in long hand (now my hand hurts!), and am writing my first draft in Scrivener. SCRIVENER. Use all the scriveners. (Also, points to you for a longhand outline.) Another program that helps a /ton/ is Aeon Timeline (https://www.aeontimeline.com/) especially if your story is complicated/has multiple POVs.
    4. I don’t write his fic. Who wants to be stuck doing research during writing time?
    4. If you write historical fiction, do you research before or after your outline? I did relatively in depth research of WWII and the Kokoda Track, etc. when the idea was a tiny seed, and have left the tiny details and proper research of certain scenes for as I go.

    #29872

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3842

    Wahoo! An outline’s not easy work. Congratulations on starting your first novel too.

    1. Extended is a little relative. With my current WIP, I had all the plot points K.M.Weiland talks about outlined (minus one or two minor ones) before I started writing. Also, before every chapter, I spend at least an hour figuring out how the chapter is going to go and how it will connect into the overall story. In the future, I think I’ll outline just a bit deeper in my initial outline, but not much since once I start writing some things have to change.
    2. I honestly can’t remember. Less than a month, I think.
    3. I use scrivener, but I could just as easily create my outline on any other writing software.
    4. I’ve written a historical fiction and am currently writing a time travel story. In both stories, I did some research before and some during. In the future, if I write historical fiction again, I would do extensive study of the time period, events, and locations before I even start outlining, then I would base my story around areas I have well researched.

    #29876

    Gabrielle
    @winter-rose
    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1233

    @clairec YEAH! GO CLAIRE! That is fantastic! This is your first book too? Yippy! I feel excited for you. 🙂

    Um, how detailed are my outlines? Well, I usually plot the basics, like the plot points, scenes, and POVs, and sometimes have a general idea of certain actions and conversations, but when I try to get really detailed, I end up ignoring the detail. 🙂

    I’m not sure how long my outlines take. Usually there’s a planning stage before the outline, were I’m compiling notes, ideas, and the basic plot. After that the outline could take a month.

    Oh, and I do my outline in word, though I write my ideas and notes on anything available.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Gabrielle.
    #29883

    Dragon Snapper
    @dragon-snapper
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 2598

    @clairec
    *confetti and pats you the back and shakes your hand vigorously*
    1. How do you write extended outlines? — Usually, I write a three point outline, beginning, middle and end, and off of that I’ll write it chapter by chapter. While I’m doing the three point outline, many ideas for scenes will pop into my head, so I just write them down on a separate sheet of paper for the chapter by chapter plotlines.
    2. The three point outline took me about a day, and the chapter by chapter outline, which I finished recently, took me about a week at one hour a night.
    3. For plotting, I use Composition notebooks, but for this most recent plotline, Moleskine notebooks work amazing. To avoid writer’s cramp, I used a balanced pen. ‘Cross’, I think it was called. My first draft I write in Microsoft Word.
    4. And as for this, I haven’t written any historical fiction, but for fantasy and sci-fi, research comes with the world-building.

    Congratulations!!!

    #29890

    Mark Kamibaya
    @mark-kamibaya
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 312

    Awesome, @clairec! That definitely is a major step. Now for my answers

    1. I’ve written an extended outline, but I’ve made some changes to my first novel so I have to rewrite my extended outline. 🙁 Personally, I dove straight into a first draft and then (after finding nuggets of gold in the sea of trash) I started intense theme/character/story outlining.

    2. I’m currently working on my extended outline. And I’m past five months already. But everybody who knows me well enough knows that I procrastinate. A lot.

    3. Now here’s the thing about me. I outline in so many different ways. I love diagrams and information heavy paragraphs (not in novels. Only in non-fiction books and outlines!). So for my book I outlined in story spine form (where you find the story beats that swing from positive to negative), in three act form (it’s just four squares–act two is divided in half–with a whole bunch of info inside each square), in a bulleted list (using multiple story structures), in a literal arc, and (this is how I’m writing my final extended outline) in James Patterson synopsis form. It’s pretty extensive. If you read it, you’re basically reading the whole book, just without dialogue. Read this and you’ll know what I mean. I’m writing my book in Scrivener

    4. I haven’t written any historical fiction yet. Sorry

    #29896

    Elizabeth
    @that_writer_girl_99
    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1482

    Congrats, Claire! @clairec

    Here’s the thing–I’ve only recently started to outline any part of my stories whatsoever, so the outlines for my current WIP are more than a little scatterbrained.

    What I find myself doing the most is writing a sort of outline where the plot points are emphasized–that way, I can fill in the blanks and add in the missing pieces. After I finish a chapter (I’ve only just finished the first one, it’s very slow going) I go back and make sure I have everything I need for the chapter to make sense. Then, I pause my writing and outline the next chapter.
    Unfortunately, this doesn’t do much for me in the way of outlining the story as a whole–thinking about how many steps my characters will have to take in order to get to the ending is incredibly daunting. The chapter outlines force me to take one step at a time.

    I use Microsoft Word.

    I don’t really write historical fiction, but regardless of the genre, I hate writing about something I haven’t done at least a little bit of research on. I think I’m going to have to do some research for my current WIP, and I’m not excited about it, but I know that after it’s done, I’ll understand my concept better and be able to write about it more effectively.

    Congrats again!

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Elizabeth.
    #29904

    Jess
    @jess
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 575

    *pats you on back and flings glitter everywhere* Congratulations!

    1. How many of you write extended outlines? Or do you simply start with a basic outline, or just dive in at the first draft?
    I don’t write extended outlines, just because I lose interest in the story. I do try to write a basic outline with a rough estimate of how many words will be in each section. I find that I need some outline, or else I’m doomed to fail.
    2. How long did it take you for your outline?
    Even for a rough outline, I’ll play a story over and over in my head for about a month before starting the outline. When I start writing, it normally takes about a week.
    3. What software do you use for your first draft/or even outline? I have written my outline in long hand (now my hand hurts!), and am writing my first draft in Scrivener.
    I’ve done long hand and Microsoft Word. I prefer Word, but long hand was good for producing more ideas…? Not sure how that worked.
    4. I don’t write HF, but I do any research as I write, not in the outline. (Usually.)

    #29911

    Audrey Caylin
    @audrey-caylin
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 237

    @clairec Congrats! That’s so awesome! *pats you on the back* *perches a cat on your shoulder to keep patting you on the back* (sort of weird, but I hope you’re not allergic to cats 😉 )

    Okay, on to the questions:

    1. I do not write extended outlines. I start out with a basic outline, then I dive in. My main reason for doing this is that I like the adventure of coming up with parts of the story while I’m writing. However, I don’t boycott extended outlines all together. Usually, after I finish my first draft, I go back and re-outline, as outlining does help smooth out a lot of kinks in stories.
    2. I’m in the middle of outlining a 1st draft right now, and it’s been over a month. This is just a draft of it, so I’m not sure how much longer it will take. I’d say about two months, including some editing as I go.
    3. I write it long hand. I used to write all my stories on paper, so it feels soothing for me to write my outlines, and I find that I’m more creative that way. Also, I can be looking at my outline in a notebook and typing the story at the same time. I could print it out, I guess, but I have a slight obsession with notebooks 😉
    4. I don’t write historical fiction, but if I need to research anything for any story, I do it as I go. For example, I have some people in my story who live like Native Americans did, and if I need to know how they made their bows, for example, I just google it when I come to that part. 😛

    One last thing: 1st drafts are awesome. They’re probably one of the funnest parts of writing, and I hope you really enjoy yours!

    #29919

    Shaina
    @jenali
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 132

    @clairec Congratulations!!!! Yes, you were writing a book even when you were outlining. 🙂

    I always have the basic outline when I start writing, sometimes it is more complicated, sometimes less, but I always have one. They are not too extended though. I just recently started outlining in a few sentences what I wanted to happen in a chapter before I wrote it. It helps to keep the bunny trails down. 🙂 However, usually towards the middle of the book I have to sit down and figure out where the story is going and how on earth I am going to end this thing. So I write out a blow by blow of what needs to happen, what the story goals are, and how things need to wrap up.

    My most extended out line took me a couple of days. To be honest though, I like outlining and it comes easily, so it doesn’t take too long.

    Software? Oh yeah, I do live in the twenty first century…. I write everything out on paper. My outlines are always on paper, I think better that way. Most of the time my first draft is on paper too. Though there are times where doing it on the computer is much easier. When I do use the computer I have Microsoft Word.

    Oh yes, research. The only reason why I have not attempted a Historical Fiction story is because of the research and because I am terrified of being historically inaccurate. I research while I am writing, if I have a question, I google it right then and then go back to my writing. Though the big questions I leave till later. But I don’t research while I am writing my outline.

    Congrats again! Good luck with your book!

    #29921

    Cloudy
    @cloudy
    • Rank: Wise Jester
    • Total Posts: 83

    @clairec

    1. I don’t outline. Nasty habit, I know. But it just doesn’t seem to work for me yet. I need practice. But the faucet of ideas just doesn’t flow until I start writing. So I can’t help on that topic. SKIP TO THREE

    3. I use google docs. And I haven’t tried scrivener so I have no opinion. But I love google docs.

    4. I would research general areas of history for specific larger scenes. And as you get into finer work with smaller scenes, get more in-depth with your research. Sort of divide and conquer.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Cloudy.
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