First, an update: I wrote 904 NEW words last night! YAY! It may not seem like a lot, but I'm relieved because it's the first new words that I've written in a week. I figured out what was bothering me with the last scene I wrote, fixed it, and moved on. It feels great! Now on to the real post.
I've been reading blogs for a while now, and I've noticed a wide variety of opinions about outlining. It seems that there are two main camps: those who swear by outlining, and those who detest it. Outliners feel that they cannot write anything without knowing every detail of their story. Non-outliners feel that their creativity is stifled, so they "wing it."
I have to be a little different in that I do a little of both. I have tried doing a detailed outline, but that ended up feeling forced. Having to know every little detail takes the fun out the whole writing process. On the other hand, writing without having a clue where I am going doesn't work, either. I have to know some details or I get lost/lose interest/get stuck.
I've tried on several occasions over the past few years to do these things, with nothing to show for it. I was stuck in the "wanna-be writer" stage for what seems like forever because of this, but with my current project, I tried to combine them. I did a very basic outline, only plotting out the main events that I want to take place. However, I left the little details out because I want to discover what happens as I go. I want to leave room for my characters to make decisions, instead of having to think out every little thing myself. I know that may sound crazy, but this seems to be the best way to make my characters come to life. So far it has worked, because when I'm typing I can see them clearly in my mind. Their personalities are really starting to shine.
So, where do you stand on this issue. Do you outline, do you come up with ideas as you go, or are you somewhere in between?