When we know what works and what doesn’t.

For the last three weeks I’ve been trying to outline.

I’ve read through the books I have on the subject and the ones I have about beat sheets.

This week I reached a point where reality smacked me in the face. I stared at what I had and tried to write from the outline, then it started to go in another direction.

This is what always happened when I was writing into the dark. But I know this story.

I wrote it as a short story last year. I always wanted to turn it into a novel. My writing group didn’t like the story. It was too dark, too disturbing.

I think that’s why I wrote the fantasy novel.

They write fantasy and sci-fi, I’ve said how much I struggle to write in those genres.

But they didn’t get the story, they don’t read horror.

I was trying to placate them, but in doing that I stopped doing what I enjoyed, horror.

But back on track to the point of this.

I’ve tried really hard over the last three weeks to pull this off and the writing is terrible.

It feels stilted and boring. And the biggest thing of all, I haven’t been having fun.

I usually enjoy my time in the chair. The last three weeks felt like torture.

Yesterday, I wanted to try something out.

An experiment if you will.

I started writing, putting the outline away, and I busted out a bunch of words and it was fun.

I understand I write this way for a reason. It feels comfortable and I don’t worry about sticking to an outline.

I know this story, so maybe that’s why I’m having an easier time. I know what happens and when. I know the ending, understand the characters and love the scary parts.

When I get a new idea maybe I’ll outline that, but for now, with this story, I’ll write it like this.

I also realized that it hasn’t been the drafting part I’m horrible at, it’s the editing.

I even asked questions on Reddit about it.

Understanding where my writing fails is important. It gives me something to work towards. It allows me to improve.

I write into the dark, discovery write, or pantsing because that feels most comfortable when I’m drafting a story. But when it comes to editing, I suck.

Now I know the problem and I’ll be working on fixing it.

These last three weeks also took me back into the pit of depression. That’s a place I’ve fought to stay out of.

I’ve been stressed over this outline business more than anything in a long time. Now I’m moving forward, my way, because I have to.q

Have a good weekend and I’ll see you Monday.

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