Outlining is an important part of the writing process. You can clearly get an idea about how your story will go, and you can always fill in the blanks and expand. There are many methods to outline, and everyone has their preference. But the most basic question could be about which media you use.
Some people like to use their computers to outline. It’s versatile, there are many applications available to use, and you can even diagram the outline. Others like to use paper. It’s easy to jot things down, easy to access, and you can work on it anywhere you are. Which do you prefer? Paper or computer? If you use computer, which applications do you use?
I tend to use paper. I keep a notebook and write all my notes in it. I’ve outlined an entire book with one, though it’s not highly detailed. I outline what happens in general first, then expand it and sort it into chapters. After that, I do a chapter-by-chapter outline. It’s one of the more basic outlining styles where you keep expanding what you have. But I think the reason I use a notebook is because it’s far more portable than my computer. I’ve done a lot of outlining at work during my lunch break.
Have you ever planned a book or several books, and everything is going smoothly, and everything is falling into place, and then something happens that takes you by complete surprise? That just happened to me.
You see, the entire Ariadne series of books I plan to write are science fiction. Everything is advanced with high technology. At the moment, I have six books ranging from rough outlines to ideas. I’ve known what’s going to happen for a long time, and I’ve always thought this is sci-fi. But you know what? I came to a realisation the other day. The genre may actually change!
I never really thought about the genre changing, but it appears it may do just that. The genre? Well, without giving away too much, it’ll still be science fiction, but with a somewhat steampunkish feeling. Sort of. But this remains to be seen. It may turn out completely different than that.
Which makes me wonder, have you ever read a series that seemed to change genre? Let me know in the comments.
Today’s visit to the Imperial Palace was a very good one. Just take a look at this.
That is just a small part of the Imperial Palace, where the Emperor and Empress of Japan live. We can’t go in there, but we can go into the Eastern Gardens. That was beautiful. While walking around through the multiple gates, the landscape, and the many native Japanese plants, we noticed how everything was carefully constructed and planned.
Well, looking at how things were built, I had a strong desire to do two things. First is worldbuilding. Second is play SimCity 4. SimCity 4? Yes! It’s one of my favourite games, and I loved watching my cities grow. Unfortunately, the CD is covered in dry food after my daughter decided to play with it after eating. Not sure how I can get it off now.
Anyone else get a desire to do anything like that? Let me know in the comments below.
It’s very strange. Ever since I started the A to Z Challenge, I’ve found it remarkably easy to sit down at my computer and write between 200 and 400 words in 15 minutes everyday. I do little planning, other than run through the idea in my head, then type it all out. It’s never the same. But I feel satisfied with what I’ve written.
The future installments of the challenge have not been planned much. I have ideas for up to R, and one for T. I have no idea how I’ll end this story. However, I have basic ideas about parts M through R. But even that far ahead, nothing is certain. I write this without a clear idea of where it’s going. And I like that.
I’d like to carry this over into my writing of Journey to Ariadne. Of course, I’ll have far more planning to do, because I have a very clear story to write. But what I want to carry over is my ease of writing and the flow of words in the story. And every day. I think I can do it.
I’ve been doing a bit of planning for the challenge so far, and I’ve decided that each subsequent story will have something to do with the previous part. So, the B story will have something to do with the A story, and the C story has something to do with the B story, and so on. I even have the first four days planned with story ideas.
I also decided to let you know the titles of the first week’s stories. There are only four days before the first Sunday break, so only A to D have been titled. Here they are:
So, how would these characters connect? In fact, A has nothing to do with C, while B has nothing to do with D. Some of these characters may never meet, but there is some connection between them.
Recently, I’ve been interested in reading different authors’ writing processes. It’s interesting to see how different they can be. Some have a rather meticulous method for planning and writing, while others just go straight into the writing and let the story progress naturally.
I’m naturally a planner. For Journey to Ariadne, I have all planned parts outlined in general, and I know what is going to happen in each part. However, my plans change a bit. In fact, one of the characters in an upcoming part will have her own secondary story arc in the novel version. She’s relatively minor in the web serial, though.
I’m thinking of doing a series of posts related to my writing process. We’ll see how that goes.
I’d like to know what kind of process you have. Is it detailed and complex, straightforward and simple, or something else entirely? Also, if you know of some authors who have written out their writing process, let me know in the comments below with a link to their blog.
Like every house needs a strong foundation, so does a story.
When I have an idea, it begins to form a basis or a foundation for a story. That foundation can be just one aspect of the story. While a house should have concrete as a foundation, a story can be more varied.
My story ideas come from many different things. For example, Ariadne started out with the setting. I created the world first, then it started to become filled with stories and people. My most recent idea for the solar system short stories was founded on the concept. The character and story came after.
A few months ago, I did an online writing course, and one of our tasks was to write a very short story based on a person in a picture. I wrote a story about a young enlisted man in a space-based military who approaches a woman in a cafe who turns out to be his commanding officer out of uniform. This actually got me thinking about a bigger story idea.
How do your story ideas form? What’s the foundation?