“For all my longer works (i.e. the novels) I write chapter outlines so I can have the pleasure of departing from them later on.” – Garth Nix
Usually when my actual writing departs from my pre-existing outlines and careful novel planning, it stresses me out. I worry about hampering the ultimate storyline and consistency and plot, and I worry that my characters are going to go off and do something that I really don’t want them to do at all.
Perhaps you have already figured out why Nix’s quote appeals to me.
Like any good writer, Nix encourages the rebel in me to trust my instinct, to trust my characters, and not to get so wrapped up in worry when things don’t go exactly as I plan. And I intend to keep rebellious influences around me. It’s the best way I’ve found for a non-rebellious writer to keep an open mind.
Nix’s use of the word “pleasure” when referring to his shunning of his own control freak shows me that changing up the game last minute can in fact be a pleasant experience. A theory I need to remind myself of often as I get towards the end of a novel.
This is one of those quotes thats goes on a piece of paper and taped to the wall above where I write.
Do you enjoy ignoring your outline process as you write?
- “Your writing process” (thethoughtstorage.wordpress.com)
- Should Short Story Writers Do Outlines? (pittsburghflashfictiongazette.com)
- On writing: Is my zipper down or do you just not like my pants? (angelaquarles.com)
- How to write critical reviews; a skill every writer should learn. (lemoncity.wordpress.com)
- The Science of Writing Fiction (pixelsmithstudios.com)