Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Thoughts

I'm sitting in Chicago with my wife's family. It's cold out. Winter always reminds me of being unproductive - hunkered down in your house, wishing the cold away, and keeping yourself occupied until spring. The food is good: Ashley's grandmother is a great cook.

I'm not writing, though. I haven't in a few days honestly. It's disappointing, but I had a productive day the other day going through and plotting out my stories. After the other day (when I posted about my stories lacking plot), I realized that my stories are driven by characters and concepts. Many times they lack in a cohesive, linear plot. Sometimes that's not a bad thing, but as a standard, I don't like it. So I'm working on some more linear thoughts and seeing about
making my stories more functional. It's one thing to have conceptually- founded stories - indeed I quite like them - but to have stories with only a concept and no plot to drive the story just doesn't work.

So I've been debating doing something with my writing that I've never done: outline. I have never really thought of outlining as a good method for my writing, because I like to produce things very environmentally: that is, I like to write what comes to me and polish it later. What I've discovered, however, is that my mind wanders and when it wanders, so does the story. I don't always know how I want to the story to end, so I don't entirely know how to write the story to get to that point - especially if I'm going on the fly. Writing up an outline for a story might help alleviate some of my frustrations with not being able to produce those cohesive stories I desire.

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