Hot answers tagged

33 votes
Accepted

Act 3 totally broken...keep writing?

Fix it now. If you realize you made a mistake, go back and fix it now. Not, I stress, because the last 20K would be "wasted," because no writing is wasted, but because it's clearly blocking you and ...
29 votes

Outlining the climax made me lose interest in writing the actual story

I am a discovery writer, I have been for many years, and I complete stories. Scrap your outline. Most discovery writers (including me) have struggled with what you are talking about; finding the ...
  • 94.1k
15 votes

I am overplotting my story - how can I figure out what is necessary and cut out what isn't?

(I think you know what you have to do ... It hurts, but do it.) Here's the format I would follow to cut darlings in your situation. I'll assume you are writing a novel, some sort of fiction. Do you ...
  • 23.7k
15 votes

Why are outlines so essential?

That's understandable. There's always that tempting desire to write things as 'efficiently' as possible, where the time spent planning a particular section turns immediately into results when writing ...
14 votes

What do I do when I know the general summary of how a scene goes but I cannot figure out precisely what the character say?

Wait for Inspiration... ...but in the meanwhile, if you've been working on this project for a decade, you really need to do the slogging through to get the story written. I would place holders (a bit ...
  • 13.1k
11 votes

Outlining the climax made me lose interest in writing the actual story

The only way to resolve it is to write. I'm a discovery writer too. I get excitement from just "imagining" how things could go, how the world might be, and how the character should react. Did you ...
10 votes

Act 3 totally broken...keep writing?

I'd like to add to Lauren's answer: whenever you realise that the story has problems, whether it's in the plotting, character development, or whatever; whenever you realise there is a problem, go back ...
9 votes

Outlining the climax made me lose interest in writing the actual story

Your brain is convinced it's done with the first draft, which means it's time to start the second draft on the story cleaning up everything and filling up any missing details as needed. Which is a new ...
  • 919
8 votes

Why are outlines so essential?

Depending on what kind of writing you do, you don't necessarily need an outline. If you're writing a short story of few thousand words, then, sure you can just bang it out. But writing long form ...
  • 919
8 votes

Why are outlines so essential?

Outlining is just a tool in your writers' toolbox. Many very successful writers never outline at all. But it can be helpful to give your work structure and overall coherence. It's easier to see ...
7 votes

How much outlining is needed?

There is no one answer to this because everyone writes differently. Some people have to outline every beat in every scene; some are complete pantsers. Every book is different too; some stories need a ...
7 votes

Act 3 totally broken...keep writing?

Some say you should stop writing this story altogether. Others that you have to fix what is wrong or finish it first. These might all be valid options. But from what I hear, 'fixing' this story is ...
  • 71
7 votes

Should I be able to 'feel' my outline?

Personally, an outline is the bare bones gist of my story as originally conceived that I then, more or less, stick to as I write the story to stay on track. It lacks depth and emotion as I ...
  • 171
7 votes

Outlining A Novel - How do you make it less of a slog?

There are many ways of outlining. Here's a suggestion for those who have 'outline allergies'. Write the first chapter (or the first two). This will get you inside the skin of the characters and will ...
7 votes

Outlining the climax made me lose interest in writing the actual story

Try breaking your outline into chunks, and write small novelettes for them. At the moment, you "feel like [you] have already completed the task" - you look at the skeleton in place, and think "that ...
  • 2,136
7 votes

Outlining the climax made me lose interest in writing the actual story

There are two kinds of discovery, not one! I am a outliner, not a pantser. I am also a plot-driven, not a character-driven writer. I love outlining, but always the finished product has huge departures ...
7 votes
Accepted

Where to go next in the writing process?

There are many different processes, and none is "right" or "wrong." They just work well for different writers. You need to find the one that is a good match for your own strengths ...
7 votes

What do I do when I know the general summary of how a scene goes but I cannot figure out precisely what the character say?

Forget the old dialog You don't state explicitly if having forgotten the old dialog trips you up or not, but in case it does, you should accept that you've forgotten that dialog. But even more, I've ...
  • 5,156
6 votes

Anyone has any super intense software for plot outlining?

EDIT (16 Oct 2017): A lot has changed in the last 3 years. Plotist now offers worldbuilding and writing tools, including a timeline and an outliner to help organize the writing, and it supports real-...
  • 266
6 votes

Why are outlines so essential?

Outlines are Absolutely Not Necessary. At All. You are probably a discovery writer, like Stephen King. And like me, and that is not a bad thing. Check out this advice: Six Secrets of Writing a Novel ...
  • 94.1k
6 votes

Where to go next in the writing process?

You should go next where you should have gone to begin with: What does your story have to say? Many authors appear to be of the opinion that a series of pointless anecdotes vaguely connected by some ...
  • 1,970
5 votes

How can I get in the Habit of Writing with Twists?

I will assume you know how to generate twists. But I want to offer a particular technique so I can refer to it later. Wilhelm’s Law: Throw away your first three ideas. This comes from SF/mystery ...
5 votes

Short Story Outline Issues

I believe some things that can help are: Focus On Scenes Stories are really scenes played out in front of the reader. This is really the show, don't tell axiom. What Is Your Point? I'm sure you ...
  • 6,443
5 votes

Act 3 totally broken...keep writing?

Having been in this situation a few times, what I have done is gone back to the start and begun again, not throwing out everything I have written already, but learning from what I realised works and ...
  • 7,713
5 votes

I am overplotting my story - how can I figure out what is necessary and cut out what isn't?

Painful as it is, circumstances like this can warrant writing an entirely new draft from scratch. Your memories of the characters and plot points from the current draft would inform you in such an ...
  • 9,517
5 votes
Accepted

Should I be able to 'feel' my outline?

Yes, you should be able to 'feel' your outline. I admit I don't really outline in writing, although I do have well defined characters and a problem in my head before I begin writing, and I do feel the ...
  • 94.1k
5 votes

Show outline or table of content using presets in Scrivener?

This answer is current as of Scrivener 3 You have a couple of options/features to view your outline: 1. Outline View While selecting a folder or a text file in the binder, go to view → outline....
  • 1,909

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