Okay, I know you've heard this from me before...but I think I really did find a way of outlining that I like! I always knew I was a visual person, but I didn't realize just how strong that trait was until recently. I'm sure many of you partook of the awesomeness that was WriteOnCon. I loved each and every minute of it! And I took away a ton of useful information and tips to use in my writing.
The one bit of awesome that inspired my newfound love of outlining was the post on revising by associate editor Kendra Levin. In that post, she had a little flow chart depicting a format for creating an effective plot. (READ HER POST AND SEE THE CHART HERE)
Now, I'd heard this information before, seen it in written form (beginning, two turning points, climax, ending, etc) - and I'd tried to use this in my rough outlining. But for some reason, just having it written down did nothing for me. But plugging my plot points into this chart.....holy moly, let the writing flow! The light bulb went on, the muse put on her party hat and started shaking her booty, I was EXCITED to write and the rest of my story points jumped from my pen onto my fun little chart.
I really should have figured this out earlier - I mean I have always been one of those people that does better looking at the picture than just reading the instructions. But I suppose sometimes you have to fail a few hundred times before you get it right :D
I took the cork board that I had attempted to use for outlining and I drew the chart form onto the board. It looked like this:
Then, I wrote my plot points onto little notecards and added them to the correct points on the chart. Now it looks like this:
Isn't it pretty!!? And now I have a complete flow chart for my story. It's not heavy duty outlining, but I know where I'm going, when I need to be building tension, and what major points to be aiming for. And suddenly I feel like I can actually finish this story.
It's amazing what a little picture will do for you :)
How about everyone else? Does anyone else use this method, or something similar? Am I the only person out there that has to have a picture to look at before they GET what's going on? :D