Above you’ll find a snapshot of an outline I wrote recently, which showcases the insanity of how I work.
This outline is for a short scene, which will likely end up being about 750 words. The typed words are stream of consciousness ideas that came to mind when I first drafted out the story (dialogue, physical actions, a few bits of prose I know I want to keep), but it has yet to be fleshed out.
I’m pretty particular about wanting to have everything planned out before I start writing a scene, especially when it’s a short story. So any gaps make me nervous. The stuff written in red ink are ideas that I wrote after the fact, which flesh out the original outline. But they’re in no particular order, so I rearranged them into the typed version, highlighting each section as I transcribe it over to make sure nothing gets left out.
Tomorrow, while I’m on the Metro line to my workspace, I’ll carry a printed out version of the updated outline with me, and then use it as a guide to write out the actual scene by hand. It’s only once I get home that I type up my first formal draft.
So basically my process is a constant back-and-forth between freewriting and arranging what I’ve written. Is it crazy and labor-intensive. Yes. Does it ensure that each draft is able to achieve it’s full potential. Definitely.