I know that a proper way to write a book is to outline everything first. I know. But do I do it? No.
Not because I want to break the rules and do it my way, not because I don’t know how to outline. I don’t outline the whole story because I don’t know the whole story yet.
I had an idea of four characters, and I started writing them. I wanted to introduce their past life, their current fears and their future hopes. So I just started writing. I gave my character names, I gave them eye color, I set the tone – and let the characters take me somewhere. And they did. They still do. It’s slow going, but it’s going. I am getting to know my characters. I am pretty sure that they are the ones who are running the whole show, I am just in a background trying to steer it one way, or another.
I would agonize over not having an outline, but only for a short period of time. Because then I realized that me not having outline is not important. What’s important is that I am finally writing. Finally letting my ideas and dreams leak onto the paper. Finally cracking my mind open enough for something good to come out. And this mindset is helping me to want to write more. Write better. Write with passion.
But what if instead of being all positive about it I just sat down and tried outlining? What if I stopped listening to my characters and put them on hold? I think I would have been still outlining to this day.
Don’t put yourself in a box. If you want to write – do it. If you want to write random scenes, passionate emotions, gibberish dialog – write it. Pour your heart out and the rest will follow.