I am an outline writer. When I look back I can see this was the case long before I ever decided to try my hand in the writing/publishing world. Lists, numbers, and outlines have been at the root of everything from school to my eight years working for Dell. My test scores when I graduated from high school placed me in the top 98 percentile for math and mechanical reasoning. When I taught newhire's for Dell, I created weeks of content and had everything planned down to a 15min window. Regardless I have said it before in my blog and made several comments on other people's blogs that I have a fairly set method to how I write and some rules that I follow. (never edit or revise until the first draft is done)
There is no right way, or wrong way to write. But writing is a skill first and art second. Most everyone learns to write from their parents and their first few years of school. Everyone can write, but not everyone can write. Writing for others entertainment and asking people to pay for this is totally different. Now I am not going to go into what writing method is better than another. I am hardly qualified after four months to even think that I know all there is about creating a good story. Here is a glimpse.
Many people have seen this picture. I posted it on my Facebook page on March 22. 2010. It is the first outline of The Eternal Gateway trilogy. All 105 chapters of it. Each card has nothing more than the names of characters and one or two words of what the chapter is about.
Ch1 :Confusion, who's bad, who's good.
Ch3: Intro Hero
Requiem consisted of 35 chapters in note card form. When it was finished, it had been condensed to 30. Nothing is set in stone, not even an outline, it is a guide and it's my solution to avoiding writers block. Jumping to book 2: Guardian, I am currently on chapter 19. Chapter 19 is special for Guardian because it is about a quarter to a third of the book. It has been broken down but looking at my original notes, all it says is "Big Ass Fight Scene". I should finish chapter 19 this week. I only have three parts left to write.
This picture is the outline for chapter 19. The yellow paper is the first half that I had already written. The white cards are what I had yet to flesh out before writing. Before you roll your eyes and think that this is too much work to do for each chapter, remember that this is a third of the book. Right now chapter 19 is 17,010 words long with another four or five thousand left to go. Normally each chapter after it goes from being a note card, gets anywhere from half a page to a couple of pages when fleshed out for outline.
Now back to chapter 19. The yellow notes were easy, I had two groups to keep track of. group A doing their thing and group B doing theirs. It was simple to bounce back and fourth between them to advance the story. The second half (the white cards) things got much harder. Both groups were now together and I had to weave them together and have some cool interactions. Each card at the top says "Train" or "Air". Then I lined them up and moved them around until I had it in an order that I liked. Picture how a movie bounces around in a chaotic action sequence. Heroes ducking for cover; Evil laughing; Starship Enterprise rushing through space; Random explosion; Eviler evil shoots laughing evil; Sad Keanu becomes happy. etc. etc.
It was much easier to outline what I wanted each group to do by themselves and then come back and mix it together like this instead of trying to do it in my head or on the fly writing.
So without making this blog post into its own novel. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the madness of my writing method.