I was never one to outline. Whenever I attempted to write a novel, I just started writing. Most times, I do a character biography but I never sit down and outline the story. I have a fantasy that the words, the story, the twists and the turns will just come to me as I type.
So far, that hasn’t really worked.
I usually start researching things along the way. Could it really happen this way? Did people talk like that in 1986? What was going on in that town in the 80’s. What was the job market like? How would an arrest and questioning really go? What would child protective services do in the late 80’s in a situation like this one?
I love to research. I am the google queen. This is not up for debate.
The problem is that the research would send me off on these tangents and I would never return to my original intent – finishing the story.
Recently, I did manage to outline the story I’m working on. I know where it’s supposed to go and what I intend to happen. This has been so helpful to me because now when I get lost on a research binge (of course, I still do it) I can pick the story back up and keep on trudging.
I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. I move according to my feelings. When your head is in the clouds (like mine often lives), it’s helpful to have a road map when I’m on land.