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Uncategorized, writing

Anatomy of an outline

So there I was, 3/4’s of the way through The Arbiter Goes to War and I just wasn’t making any headway. None. I knew how it had to end, but just couldn’t get there! Frustration set in. A couple of weeks went by. And then I realized… I never outlined this because it was a short story. I had figured that I just didn’t need to. I figured wrong. It took about twenty minutes to get the last section outlined and then a half-hour to write it. All that time spent fruitlessly staring at my monitor had been a complete waste of time that I would never get back. Lesson learned.

Since the story is out now (on sale for a mere .99 at smashwords.com and amazon.com! /pimping) I thought I would post pics of the actual outline. You can see my process and just how not-detailed it really is.The horror of detail that other writers imagine just doesn’t do it for me because then it feels like I’ve written the story/novel/script twice. No one wants to do that unless actual editing is involved. I jot down just a couple of lines to clarify in my head what needed to happen and the background of the bad guy(s). Even in a short story, you need to have motivation and history or it just won’t work… as I found out the hard way. Heh.

If you don’t want to be spoiled about the story, then don’t look after the bump, but if you’re curious about the actual process of how I write, then take a look! Oh, and I should warn you it’s handwritten and I’m a lefty so… good luck! lol! (no really, if you all want, I can also type up the outline and put it in another post, let me know :o))

(Here’s hoping I do the jump right – you may get this a couple of times as I try and figure it out – sorry)

pg1 of outline




About Nancy M. Griffis

Author and screenwriter who loves scifi/action/adventure/urban fantasy genres. I have two published novels, Mind Games and Eternal Investigations, as well as a short story published for charity called "Home Fires Burning." All are available through amazon.com and barnesandnobles.com.


2 thoughts on “Anatomy of an outline

  1. You think your writing is bad? *snort* You haven’t ever had to read mine! I can’t even read it sometimes… LOL I’ve noticed, though, that lefties tend to have really, really crazy handwriting, or really beautiful handwriting. I like yours!

    Posted by katyasozaeva | January 30, 2013, 5:12 am
    • in my defense, I was in a rush and writing really fast on unlined paper. hee! my cursive is pretty good, but I tend to print mostly. my uncle’s writing (he’s a lefty, too) is a horror which is all I ever heard growing up so I try to have legible writing.

      Posted by Nancy M. Griffis | January 30, 2013, 3:48 pm

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Nancy at the Tim Burton exhibit in L.A.

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