I do! And I’m still learning how to outline a story with a structure that doesn’t collapse at the first strong wind of criticism.
Have you ever loved a story, but wondered why no one else did?
I’m a pantster. Nothing better than sitting down and letting my muse loose on the keyboard. Too bad, writing by stream of consciousness often ends, as do most streams, into a raging uncontrollable river. And where do rivers end? Into a vast ocean, that’s where.
Then after spending hours, days and sometimes months writing thousands of words, all I can do is try not to drown amid the ocean of a rambling story. So I give up and decide to fix it another day. I’ve no idea how this happened.
Does any of this sound familiar?
I’ve begun to fear; my problem may be lack of structure.
If you’re a pantster, don’t go to yelling just yet. I’m still a pantster but, I’m learning to use structure. Because I believe there’s a way to marry both the outline structure and write pantster style.
Got a story that just aggravated you almost to insanity? Nothing is working? Take it and try breaking it down into 3 simple acts and then break those acts down further.
Got an idea for a story? Start by simplifying it with 3 acts. Then one idea under each act and an idea under each one of those headings.
Here is the basic outline I’m working with.
Act I – Opening
- Hook – conflict
- Protagonist in daily life before transformation
- Opportunity to change
- Resistance to change
- Point of no return
- Opportunity accepted
Act II – Entering the new situation
- Meeting friends, enemies, romance;
- Transformative experiences
- Problem brings them together
- Problem drives them apart
- Crisis Hits
- Terrible Secret Revealed
By breaking down the story little by little, I’m giving it time to grow and hoping to find more freedom and inspiration with smaller chunks.
So tell me, do you use the 3 Act structure or a more indepth outline?
Do you write with or without an outline?