I have been going on about how much I like a proper outline, and what wonders it has done for my no holes WIP that I am currently editing. I still hold to that. But I have also discovered a pit-fall, from rather painful, time wasting experience.
For several months now, I have been working on an outline. Granted, I worked on more than one WIP, deciding which one to work on. But it was taking longer than I had anticipated, because what I wanted was a completely detailed outline. I know the beginnings, I vaguely know the endings, but I don't know everything that would happen in the middle, and how it would all be tied together. I was hoping to sort that out in the outline.
I was aware that while I was doing this, of course I wasn't writing. I told myself, that's okay. I need to spend some time on the outline, so story will be better for it from the beginning. So I carried on. But after two months, and not much to show for it, I see how much time I have wasted. Two months of not writing new words - that's not exactly an ideal writer, is it? At least, it is not for me.
So the wake-up call came, as it often does with me, abruptly. The thoughts usually marinate, niggle in my head for a while, and then one day - BOOM! I realise what the hell I have been doing. And need to do something about it.
I made the decision to start writing. Now. Start with whatever fragmented plans I have, and work on it as I go. Even if it means writing a Draft Zero, doing an Outline, and then rewriting it. It doesn't matter. What is important is writing, because only by writing, I can discover and improve on my processes. Theories are all very well, but without application, I cannot know what I have learned.
So I started my new Fantasy WIP on the 1st of March. (See the word-counter to the right) It's going to be a part of my March Writing Challenge. And I look forward to discovering what this process teaches me. But now that I have started writing, the thrill of discovering what happens is back, and I am kicking myself for waiting so long to start a story!
What about you? Do you spend months and months without new words, or are you always writing something? Does editing, planning, etc. take over creating new stories?