In the interest of full disclosure (does anyone else love using that phrase?), I’ve written a few posts about outlines over the years. I think I even had one in January. The things is that my opinions have evolved since I began writing.
And I thought I’d revisit the subject.
The short answer to why I now use an outline is: I have a shit memory and not having an outline was affecting my ability to write a cohesive mystery series.
And that was the ‘short’ answer.
The long answer? I have a shit memory and not having an outline was affecting my ability to write a cohesive mystery series.
Looking back, my fear of outlines comes directly from learning about them in school. I hated the rigidness of them. And also, they never made sense to me. At all.
It randomly struck me last year that an outline could be whatever worked for me.
I began with a cobbled together version of a tree branch mind map. That morphed to include a bastardized version of the beat sheet. And finally, I began doing a chapter by chapter one sentence breakdown that I updated as I write.
The latter is the most recent addition.
I’ve found it really helpful was I’m writing to jot down a sentence or a thought for what’s going to come in the future chapters. With a mystery, I don’t want to be stumbling for clues as the writer. And I’ve done that a few times in the past.
It’s been a revelation toward making my writing life easier.
A couple years ago, I put a blog post together of writing quotes I enjoy and use for inspiration.
I thought I’d share a few more of my favourite quotes. This time from books I read either as a kid or in my teens.
“. . . . I cannot escape my life but can only use my determination and courage to make it the best I can.” ― Karen Cushman, Catherine, Called Birdy
“There’s some good in this world, Mr Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” – Jane Austen, Persuasion
“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“As Estha stirred the thick jam he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these: a) Anything can happen to anyone. and b) It is best to be prepared.” —Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
I watch a lot of Youtube. I’ve shared a number of posts with favourite channels of all sorts. I thought I’d share a few specific ASMR videos that I use to help me relax in the evenings if I’m particular stressed or dealing with anxiety.
The first is from TingTing, who is one of my favourite ASMR channels. I’m subscribed to her channel. This is one of my fave videos of hers.
WhispersRed is another favourite of mine. Of all her videos, I think this is the one I watch the most.
The third channel I watch frequently is Gentle Whispering ASMR. I love her cooking videos especially. This one from autumn this year is a new favourite. I’ve watched it quite a few times already.
Given the way this year has gone, I’ve struggled to find things to help me relax. In the past few months, I’ve found a section of YouTube that fits the bill. It’s basically a kind of ASMR, I think. Japanese day in the life vloggers.
I don’t know if it’s the beautiful visuals, the calm music, or the content itself. But I find them the perfect way to relieve stress.