I have been nagging students to plan out their research essays with an outline.  From them I hear the same whine I make when confronted with this task–they, too, would rather lick a fish.  Since I have to be all “teacher knows best,” I do try to encourage better practices in my students.  Start with notes or bubble trees.  Work outline to draft.  Work backwards from draft to outline.  I don’t particularly have a problem as long as they take the opportunity to look at the skeleton of the work and evaluate for missing information and balance.

Needless to say this is an example of “Do as I say, not as I do.”  I am a pantser–as in flying by the seat of my pants–by nature.  Planning?  Structure?  What are these strange things?!

I was messing about with the seedling novel I began during NaNoWriMo.  However, I stalled out–I hate the middle section of the story.  I thought if I outlined the current structure and brainstormed new ways to tie the information together, I would re-kindle my desire to write on it again.

Common sense advice tells you things like don’t worry about your story until the writing is done.  Sorry.  No can do.  The breaking of structure is what opens up new possibilities; it takes new avenues through the story.  Heck, it might take the writing somewhere I never thought it could go!

I am determined to not stare blankly at the computer screen for an hour wondering why I want to hit the delete key!


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