I love books. And movies. And fictional TV shows. I love stories.
My favorite thing about this writing gig is being the first person to see the stories. It’s like being the person who records a great story for publication, airing, screening, whatever…
You know what I hate?
Spoilers. Knowing what’s going to happen.
That is the easiest way for me to explain why I don’t outline. I don’t want to know what is going to happen. It ruins my enjoyment. I try not to willingly do things I don’t enjoy. Life is too short.
Do I think not outlining is the right way to write?
Nope. It’s one way.
I even enjoy outlining a story. It’s a fun, creative process. I started out as an outliner. I have even done my share of snowflakes!
I’ve never completed anything I’ve outlined, though. I lose interest.
The outline is a spoiler. I had my fun with the story. Now, I have to go back and write it…knowing how it ends? Not fun.
But I did learn something, even when I had an outline, my creative self could not stay on the train tracks. It would run right off those mo-fos, and WOW did some crazy fun stuff happen…however, the pull of the rails followed… not cool.
Now, I sit down and follow the characters around and record. I’m a happier and (IMO) better storyteller. If you’ve read Everything is Broken, I figured out whodunnit (not that I think that is the important thing in the story), when Fuzzy calls Indianapolis. That and the scenes that followed were a blast to write.
My current story? I sat down to write a Western, but Fuzzy was having none of that.
If it all sounds like mystical, woo-woo BS. It’s because it is, except for the BS part. But it works for me, and it means when I’m writing a book…actually writing…I’m also its first reader. I love that.
For the other writers out there, I’d love to hear how you keep the joy in your writing.