Should You Include Dialogue Snippets in Your Outline? {Case Study}

I think that all pantsers have this fear inside of them that making a plot will box them in when they try to write their story, limiting their creativity. That fear keeps them from trying to outlining. They want to be creative, and in their eyes, having a plot stops that. If you don't know, I actually used to be a pretty hardcore pantser. I don't think it shows very much anymore, but that used to be the only way I wrote. Some of those leftover fears from my time as a panster still lurk in the back of my mind, though. (Also, WordPress keep trying to autocorrect me whenever I write 'pantser' into 'panther'. 😑) However, as a person who now refuses to walk into any book without at least some semblance of a plot, those fears have taken on a different form in me: the idea that, while I'm plotting, maybe I'm plotting too much. I need creative freedom to go meandering down whatever paths happen to pop up along my way, and if my plans have to be followed exactly, then I can't do that. So how far am I really willing to go with my outlines?

How to Brainstorm Your Story in 5 Steps

The year 2021 is upon us. After a pretty rocky start to the decade... *looks pointedly at the corona virus* ...I think all of us are ready for a fresh start. Usually, I kind of make fun a little of the way people start the new year with a flurry of resolutions to do new things and better themselves. But I thought that, after the craziness of the past year, many people would look at their lives with a fresh perspective. Time is short, and sometimes crazy viruses try to cut it even shorter. With these morbid thoughts around to spur people on, they might finally find the motivation to start that book they've been dreaming about for years. Combine that with the new year and buckets of resolutions, and you've got people deciding to finally write their book! And that's where this post comes in! With new writers beginning, I thought that they would need some assistance. So, I'm doing a post on one of the earliest steps of writing to help them out a bit: brainstorming.

Why You Need to Imagine

Have you ever gone to work on a new idea and then, when you go to write it down, you start feeling almost suffocated? Writing your ideas down somehow feels like you're setting all of it in stone, and you can no longer think of anything else. But you still feel like things are missing, and there are gaps in the plot line. I've done that before. I've even waved it off before, just pushing through the outlining process and trying to ignore the persisting feeling in my gut that I was still missing pieces to my story. (that's not a good thing to do, by the way; don't copy me 😂) But something I quickly pinpointed was how I even ended up in that place of mental suffocation and pushing through: a vital first step that I'd missed.