Writer’s Notebook: To Outline or Not To Outline?

I haven’t felt much like writing this week. Well, screenwriting. I’ve been writing some songs. That’s my first love as far as writing goes. Writing songs allow me to be playful, show the different sides of me, and get my feelings out. I can give myself hope with a beautiful love song. Singing about having the perfect guy for me lets me envision it taking place. I suppose one could equate it to an audio vision board. Maybe the law of attraction will work in my favor and a funny, energetic, bright, and kind man will find his way to me. Maybe writing this will.

So why haven’t I been getting the same feeling from writing my screenplays? All the technical side of writing is getting in the way of my enjoyment. I have been trying to force myself to outline. That’s not my style. I don’t clean that way. I usually make a huge mess and then clean it up. So it looks horrible in the process but when I get there it looks great. I’m trying to force myself to stop cleaning that way because drives me crazy seeing everything out in the open. If it were up to me everything would be hidden. Not because it’s ugly, but because it is a distraction. But is writing the same thing? Does having everything out, not neatly put away in an outline, the distraction? Or is trying to outline the problem? I feel lost when I outline. But I love to make lists. Problems start when I try to outline the script I’m working on. The issue is I don’t know what I want to happen. Usually I write and let my characters tell me what the issue is and then I revise. No treatment, no outline. Maybe a short paragraph, but certainly nothing long.

I pray I get out of this spot I am in. Maybe I need to envision myself finishing up my scripts and loving the outcome. Do you outline? How? Does it help? Is it a waste of time? Share your writing process with us here.

Thanks,

SJ

Been writing songs lately? Post them here.

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