Day 178 – It’s never too late to outline

Day one hundred seventy-eight of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 1,200

After I finished writing last night, I jotted down some notes to organize changes in plot. At the time, I didn’t fully realize the value of doing that exercise. Tonight, I did.

I had been having trouble sorting out the many plot changes that developed over the last several months. Even more troubling was the difficulty I was having reconciling those changes with an eye toward an ending. While I wrote last night, the changing plot lined up in my mind and I could foresee the ending. It was an aha! moment. While it was fresh in my mind, I wrote down an outline to map out how it will work. Coming back to that outline tonight was immensely helpful because I had already forgotten some key points. My memory was instantly refreshed and I started writing with a plan and purpose in mind.

That’s exactly how I started writing this book. I created an outline that I followed for a while. Then things changed. The plot took twists and turns I had not anticipated. I loved it when that happened; it was thrilling to see the story develop organically. So I scrapped the outline and just wrote. Creating a new outline as things changed seemed like a waste of time since I figured the plot would just change some more. And it did. Now I know that it is never too late to do an outline. Even if the ending is in sight.

Since I am writing my first book, I am enjoying the learning curve. It is humbling for the most part, since I recognize how clueless I was when I started. Frankly, I’m still rather clueless. But I am learning every day and improving my writing and story-telling skills. It is definitely a journey.

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