Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Avoid writers block...

A love you never thought of...  

I have talked about music being a great source of inspiration. I have also pointed out how different scenery can influence your desire to write. If you were to couple these two it would enhance the vision of your character and the story line even greater. I would go as far as to suggest taking pictures of your vacation, or any other time you visited a beautiful place, and create your own video. You can also place the pictures on your wall to look at while the music plays.

Although these work well for me, I will admit there is another step that surpasses these. In fact, I would say the previous are merely for setting the mood. Nonetheless, you need to know where the story line is going to take you. If you don't have that you have nothing to write about. The story line could also be called the plot. Now, of course there is much, much more needed than just a plot. I have said this before, but it bears repeating. It's not just plot development. It's also the characters, voice, back story, beginning and ending, the conflict building, action scenes, love scenes, realistic dialog, antagonist, protagonist, avoiding clichés, word count, title… and the list goes on.

However, today we're going to deal with what I call an outline. I have heard and read many people say that is not how you write. What works for me may not work for you but don't discard something because of what someone else has said. You don't have to tell anyone how you wrote it. Therefore, write it in whatever way makes you feel comfortable. This is my way to keep me from getting writers block.

Let me give you an example:  Click the video and read on;

1. Billy wants to walk on the sidewalk across the street. That's where Sally walks and he must meet her.
2. The school crossing guard will tell his mother if he crosses the street near the school without his assistance.
3. The cars are moving too fast outside the school zone. He must learn what causes the cars to stop in order to cross unharmed.
4. He will also need to make an alliance with his sister to prevent her from snitching to Mom.
5. His best friend Joanne helps him come up with many ideas all of which fail.
6. After many failures he seeks the help of his father to drop him off across the street one block from his home.
7. However, after meeting Sally he finds she has a horrible personality.
8. Seeing things in a better light he realizes it's his best friend Joanne who he should be with. Joanne does not want to be his second choice.
9. Billy must now convince her she was his first choice he just didn't realize it. There will broken hearts, tears, and many lessons learned, but in the end...

You now have the epic story of an eight year old who only wanted to hold a girls hand.

It's as simple as that. You will continue to add more issues in between as you go through it. A bully might step into the picture. Another boy in a bike gets hit by a car in front of Billy, creating a fear he must learn to overcome. One obstacle to overcome leads to another issue you can place on your list.

My first outline consisted of about four pages. Did I do everything on it religiously? No way, that's not how you use it. That outline changed many times as the need would arise. Let me tell you what it did for me. That outline kept me on track showing me what to expect next. That, coupled with inspirational items state above, kept me writing. Here's another hint. At the end I had to put together another outline for the ending. The right ending is as important as the beginning or the middle.

Above all remember to… Stay in your write mind.


  1. You are far more organized than I am! And you make it look so simple too. I wish I could sit down and put together an outline. It would make my life SO much easier. Instead, I dive in without much of a plan. Great post Orlando :)

  2. Orlando... I'm glad you won't let anyone tell you "how" to write.

    You're a Writer. You know how to write.

    Just because I, as a Writer, don't outline, because I, let "them" just do their thing (you know, those imaginary friends that we call characters), doesn't mean your way is wrong. It doesn't mean mine is right, either.

    That's just how we do it.

    Outline away, my friend. You know what's right for you.

  3. Keri and Allie, thank you both very much for your support. My mind wonders every which way and all kinds of ideas come to my head. Sometimes I have to make notes for other book ideas because it just will not fit what I'm writing at that moment. Without an outline there would be no cohesiveness in my story.