Why You Should Outline Your Novel – The Other Epic Story Vlog (Ep 3)

readers and writers, welcome to another
episode of the other epic story. In this episode we’re gonna talk about outlining
your story. Do we need to do that, is there any benefit? Are we just
procrastinating should we just go right into writing. Let’s find out. However, it
goes back to that idea of I just want to have fun I just want to build… uh-oh hey
folks, welcome to another episode of the other epic story. in today’s episode
we’re gonna talk about outlining so let’s take a look at the outline of
today’s episode first of all we’re gonna talk about the two sides the two
contentious sides of outlining they’ll be interesting then second part is we’re
gonna ask did I outline my epic trilogy third part is my experience my personal
experience outlining how I grew into it that’s a little preface and the fourth
part is I’m gonna look at my first book that I’ve written if you don’t know what
I’m doing I’m working on this epic trilogy and we’re gonna look at my first
book and see what it would look like if it’s outlines and this is your first
time being exposed to the entire story don’t worry no spoiler alerts it doesn’t
really matter but this is the outline of today’s episode so let’s get right to it
so when we talk about outlining there’s also two points of view let’s listen to
this guy explain it a little bit better so you’re on like talking you don’t
approach like architecture you don’t have this entire like all the details
and manuals and glossary is laid out there no I have I have some of that but
less much less than you would think I’ve often said that the writers are of two
types there is the architect which is one type
and the architect as with designing a building lays out the entire novel ahead
of time he knows how many rooms there will be and what the roof will be made
of and how high it will be and where the plumbing will run and that where the
electrical outlets will be in each room and everything is there in the blueprint
and then there’s the gardener who like digs a hole in the ground and puts in
the seed warders it with his blood and he sees
what comes up now the gardener knows certain things it’s he’s not completely
ignorant he knows whether he planted an oak tree or an ear of corn or a
cauliflower no one is purely an architect no one is purely a gardener in
terms of writers but many writers tend to one side or the other and I’m very
much more a gardener that was an interview with george RR martin the
writer of the song and Ice and Fire series you know who he is in George
Stroumboulopoulos former commentator for Hockey Night in Canada so there’s two
sides to this there’s one side that says no you shouldn’t outline because outline
would you know limit your creativity it would force your characters to not be
able to explore their environment and just act impulsively
however this the other side is like no your character should be clearly
developed by you you should know what they’re gonna do each part there’s
really no wrong answer outlining in my opinion probably does help in the
organizational helps cover up plot holes it helps with the actual writing process
imagine trying to get somewhere let’s travel across the world you’re gonna
need a map you’re gonna need a schedule plan you’re gonna need all that stuff
and what an outline does and maps out every place you want to hit okay you
need to get gas here you need to stop there for rest it does that however I
also think writing can be you know just a camping trips a fun getaway there’s
nothing scheduled wake up in the morning whenever you want you set up a fire
someone says hey let’s go for a hike and you go for a hike and then you just
wander around and suddenly it’s nighttime and you’re lost in the forest
and you got to eat one of your friends to survive that’s how I think writing is
also but the question is did I outline my trilogy the answer is not yet no I
written the first book and I did it all without outlining
in retrospect I wish I did outline it I think it would have helped me develop
the characters a little bit better help me understand the settings a little bit
better help me even understand like the backstory and the conflicts and the all
that stuff I could have understand a little bit
better if I outline however if I did outline I might not have gotten the
first draft done I might have been just stuck in the outlining phase in my day
job I’m a content creator the thing about content creation in a
business environment is that you have pretty strict deadlines so from the
ideation stage to the publication stage it’s probably about a week to two weeks
tops and so outlining really comes in handy
when you’re coming up with the idea you need to block it out you need to know
what questions to ask that way when you’re researching and writing it out
it’s right there for you you’re not thinking about it you’re just in the
doing mode and I think that’s kind of helpful when you’re working on you know
content creation blog posts how-to articles building out resources I think
that’s super helpful and I feel like it could definitely be applied to creative
writing as well however it goes back to that idea of I just want to have fun I
just want to build on sync so literally just got my microphone no we are gonna
do the second part of this with actual good audio comes in a cool packaging
this is cool this only became an unboxing episode look this is cool
do not eat one of those do not eat throw away moisture packs all right all right
I’m gonna set this up and then we’re gonna finish this episode all right so I
believe I was a new mic this sounds better right I think it sounds better I
have to actually go in and check it I didn’t check it yet oh that was
incredibly distracting at Amazon guy scared the shit out of my dog who is
over here now moping moping on the ground Michael right back to what’s
important so I was talking about my experience working in a professional
environment as a writer and needing to outline I really think it’s helpful
throughout the next part of my writing process book 2 book 3 I’m definitely
gonna outline especially if you’re on a tight schedule like I am and you only
have like an hour two hours to write you definitely want to make the most of it
you don’t really have time to sit around and just like ponder oh should I send
the character this way or this way like having to go back and rewrite is so much
more painful than writing it the way it should be the first time even though
like when I write a first draft I feel like I’m about 75 80 % done I’m pretty
sure I’m just lying to myself and I’m like about to give up and like this is
done when your outline you’re so much more certain that you’re closer to the
finish line you actually have a map of where you need to be and that way you
actually know you’re done and I think the first book really suffered because I
didn’t outline so let’s have a look at if I was to write an outline now this is
not the original and this is like the outline after I finish writing the first
draft which is kind of but I do want you guys to see just a quick glimpse of what
my story is actually about before I get more into it we’ll probably do another
episode about outlining I would like to outline my next two books as well just
so we have an idea of the whole structure of it but I don’t know when
I’m gonna do that one so let’s just do this one first before we get too far
ahead see this is why we need an outline if my story had an outline what would it
look like I think it would look something like this this is the outline
I called it this is called like a skeletal outline and it just looks like
this so it begins with the town is threatened by a mysterious thief that
steals the stock every year then it jumps to a different part of the
story where a man from a different town murders his wife and fled then it goes
to a boy sheriff discovers the murder and chases after the man with the man’s
wife as a guide then the man arrives in the town with
the thief all distress while the boy sheriff and the wife discovers that she
is in fact pregnant with the lover the murdered lovers child back at the first
town with the thief and all that stuff the man can this is a town that he is in
fact a hero of some sort he is a sheriff of another town and he has come here to
help protect him from the thief and then the boy sheriff and his wife trek
through dangerous Lang’s up so the idea is that these two towns are really far
away almost a year’s journey so if she’s pregnant she’s traveling it’s a whole
thing I don’t really understand pregnant woman and travelled so this is something
I need to figure out as I work on this finally we reached the climax boy
sheriff the wife and the man converge and a standoff ensues so this is the
climax this is the point where everything is sort of building up into
and we’re gonna talk a bit about working backwards from the climax so that you
get every piece of the story built out properly the tension and all that stuff
so the boy sheriff survives the standoff and the life is now in labor spoiler
alert this is definitely a spoiler because anything after the climax is
essentially spoiled the town is the town become weary of all this Buffalo and
they still have the thief to worry about and so they write they revolt against
each other they have like this big argument in the Town Hall and a fire
starts and many lives are lost however through all these ashes and rubbles the
baby is born and this baby is essentially the prodigal son and that’s
the first book the birth of this child and all the sort of mayhem
that ensues to lead up to this point and yeah that would essentially be the
outline of my first story it’s not brilliant in any sense it’s not meant to
be it’s just meant to guide us as writers from beginning to end with a
middle in between I really recommend doing an outline I
started out in the camp of being a gardener I think I’m now in the camp of
having to structure it properly unless you have all the time in the world which
you don’t because we’re all gonna leave this fragile fragile world at some point
I really do recommend outlining you end up having to deconstruct your whole
novel which is something I am totally into doing when we start working there’s
this process called the second draft where you just break all the scenes
apart and you put them in the chronological order and I’m very
interested in doing that and I’ll do that with you guys at some point but
today that is our episode on outlines is it good for you is it bad for you
my opinion is outline are super useful totally recommend them so that’s the
point I’m trying to make if you enjoy watching these videos or enjoy just
watching me ramble on and on with so much awesome insight please subscribe
please like this post share with all your friends and until next time keep
writing don’t give up believe in yourself believe in other people leaving
ghosts you

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