Current tuneage: Anything For Love - Meatloaf
Today I started outlining my next novel. Before I actually started writing novels I swore I would never outline. It was too organized too neat and perfect for the creative type. So I just began writing... and writing... and rewriting when I'd go off on some crazy tangent... So I started taking notes in a separate document. Just to keep my thoughts straight and to jot down ideas when they came to me for later chapters. Pretty soon the list grew and I decided to organize the list... and so was born the outline.
I'm sure my outlines look nothing like what your teachers and professors taught you to do in school. In fact, I think if anyone other than myself looked at one of my outlines (especially some of my previous teachers and professors) they'd run screaming. To the outsider they look disorganized, jumbled, uneven and overwhelming. To me, they've become a godsend. I'm able to go back and change small details without having to rewrite nearly as much. Of course, rewriting still needs to be done. And I have another document specifically for large things I'm probably going to change during one of many proof rounds once the initial draft is complete. But when an entire part of your storyline changes halfway through writing the novel, the outline makes it much easier to organize and make sure you keep on track. Even if that track goes down a different path than the one you originally intended.