Re: How detailed is your outline?

Reading what everyone does has been super interesting!

For my first idea of a story, my outline will be very brief. More like a rough framework to write within. I often find myself breaking out of that then going back to the outline to tweak the framework before I keep writing. By the time I’m done with a solid draft, my outline will have grown exponentially. I usually then use that outline to do big picture revisions if necessary. 

Re: How detailed is your outline?

I write character sheets and a plot outline with a resume of each chapter scene and how I want them to end. 

So I can do better foreshadowing, which means there is usually a 10k words character personalities and backstory outline as well as an around 5k-10k words chapter resume outline. 

Once it's written, I usually stick to it while some time diverging from it slightly if I feel that the story might be better told that way. Then, I readjust my outline accordingly to keep track.

I feel that having a good outline makes my writing better and more focused, it doesn't go everywhere. Also, I don't add too much filler scenes due to a good outline... 

I think I'm pretty much good at outlining and thinking about a story (It takes about 1-2 weeks of intensive thinking to choose a pretty good outline, I pitch several resume outlines with character personalities and choose the one that I feel is the most logical and I'm the most passionate about.)

Once it's done, I sit down and write the story...
My outline are usually pretty good for a 100k word book. 

And that's the part that's lacking, I guess... the Execution part.

But it's kinda normal since I've just written one book so far (Currently under rewriting) 

Re: How detailed is your outline?

I'll preface this by saying, there's no right way to write. If a detailed fully fleshed out outline is what feels most comfy to you, do it! Some people need the structure of a full plotline. For others an outline stifles their creative process. 

I have an outline, a small one that covers my first volume. I haven't put pen to paper for the second one yet as I'm still learning a lot about my characters as I write. I however only hold to that outline loosely. I've already deviated several times because the characters ended up being a bit different than I thought they'd be. But it works out well. My main thing is I have a plot that I'm following and as long as I hit the major twists and plot points I'm fine. I keep those in mind when I write and let the characters dictate where they go from there. 

Sometimes that means instead of stealing a kitchen knife and chasing down slimes my character got training on a weapon. Or instead of a bandit attack happening in x chapter it happens in another, with far more character growth and despair as a result. Or instead of a character doing x they do y because they ended up a bit more introverted than I had thought they'd be. 

I do what works for me and my writing. As you should do what works for you and your writing.

Re: How detailed is your outline?

I mean I have a bunch of text files on my story, but to call it an outline... there is a large jumble of files and information. 

I have a world map with all countries and their territories and places of interest, an overarching story plan for the overall plot, I usually do a plan for each volume in which I describe a volume plot in detail, however even beyond that I usually have a file for each particular story (For example, files on a character including their personality, backstory, abilities, and everything that brought them to the point they are at in the story - as well as where I want to take them and what development I want them to go through during the story.)

I usually base my stories around my characters. When I write a character, I very often think 'Why is this person this way? What brought this person to be this way, and what do I want them to experience to change them?' This is how I write a story.  So I start off with a goal. Then I create a character to achieve that goal. Then I create a reason for why that character wants to achieve that goal. 

I also have a whole bunch of other files such as the currency system, the military rankings and systems, political hierarchies, and other information about my world. 

Re: How detailed is your outline?

I usually start out with the intent to write an outline, and then... don't. Usually just out of my own procrastination more than anything. I generally have a vague idea of what I want to happen in an arc or chapter, but generally, I just end up writing an equally vague sentence or two as a summary and then I just write the chapter more or less based on whatever's floating around in my head. If I really need to keep myself on track, I'll write a short bullet list of the important things that need to be covered in that chapter, and that's usually the most detailed that I get.

Lately though I am starting to think I want to try doing more detailed outlines. The problem I have with longer stories is that I usually have the most detail in mind for the beginning and sometimes the end, so I just end up floundering around in the middle, then I get burnt out as I start to write really barebones chapters that just move the plot from point A to B without doing much else. I think for my next story I'm going to try writing an in-depth outline for the whole thing before I start writing any chapters and see how that goes.

Re: How detailed is your outline?

First I have my "Arc" outline

Its a list of point form arcs and a brief description of them.

Then I have my "Writing Notes" file which is a mess of a dozen things I want to have happen but in no particular order.

Then I have my chapter outline (Called "The Plan") which is a point form list of what I want to have happen in the next 5-10 chapters. That outline is the most broken especially as it gets longer and I expand or detract how long certain events last. Most of the time I set up those 5-10 point form names as empty drafts on RR.

Because I like writing certain parts more than others sometimes (read most of the time) I'll write those drafts out of order or at least write scenes/experimentations/events in a disjointed manner and then finish up with a linear sort of editing/proofreading session so stuff progresses more naturally.

Re: How detailed is your outline?

Somewhere between extremely detailed paragraphs, to a sentence or two. It fluctuates based on the scene. Sometimes I get a wild idea, one I can visualize really well, and other times i just need to know where I am trying to get to. 

I adore Scrivener for theis reason. I have the two panel view set up, so I can write a chapter on one side, and have notes for the chapter or an outline open in the other. This way, if a plot hole pops up, or i get a sudden inspiration, it is easy for me to jot down without losing my writing momentum. Also really great to have absolutely EVERY note, random thought, question, research, etc. in one place. I bought the mobile version of Scrivener for this reason. 

I never lose any notes now, and am much more organized! 

Re: How detailed is your outline?

My outline grows alongside the plot. I write basic stuff like faction names, names, power levels and overall map information. Sometimes I have some random ideas and write them down.

Like some others said, I discover what I write. I don't force plot or anything, if it happens, it happens. Unless it really gets bad and requires insane plot armor, I won't really change anything.

I actually discovered my own cultivation system while writing the story. I was like "Wow!! Cultivation actually does that?! So that's why people at this realm do that! That makes so much sense!" Just by connecting the dots on some cultivation lore/results and stuff.

By writing whatever my mind imagines, my subconscious and luck might just leave some bread crumbs here and there, and when connecting one with another in a certain pattern it ends up with new stuff.

Like : 

-X dies a hundred years ago (random bs)

Some chapters later :

-Y is a traitor from a hundred years ago (some more random bs)

Then I'm surprised because : Y betrayed Z and ended up causing X's death a hundred years ago!

This is an obvious example, but just imagine this scaled to the extreme across thousands of words. This is a lot of fun I must say!

Re: How detailed is your outline?

This detailed :^)

It's a Tiddlywiki file, so about 80% of that is formatting bloat. Currently it's about 279 chapter outlines along with at least 100 other small documents about various things for detail so I can remember them more easily (character descriptions, lore, etc.). I actually go through a first rough phase which is usually just bullet points, then I expand those into chapter outlines that I think will reach the appropriate size when made into chapters, then I adjust while writing the chapters to follow the outline somewhat closely but deviate if necessary. I've already deviated from the outlines in some of the things that are written, but the major plot points are the same and the deviations were usually because a chapter ended up being too long and had to be split, or ended up being too short and needed to be joined with another one. Only in a few cases did I actually change anything major, and it was mostly because the initial idea made less sense once I was writing everything out proper.

I've tried working without extensive outlines in the past and I always ended up writing myself into a corner without one. I tend to like to put a bunch of foreshadowing in as well, and doing that while working purely in one direction can be difficult. With an outline, I can know what's going to happen and foreshadow it correctly.

Re: How detailed is your outline?

Honestly, I really like to experience the story with the mc. Otherwise, I get bored and can’t imagine what will happen next in the story. Some call that writer’s block, I guess. So apart from mc’s background, like his roots, powers, etc. I have created 12 major characters with specific backgrounds belonging to them and their factions. And few major events. That’s it. As for the rest? Well, I will figure out it on the road, I guess. I mean, that’s what makes adventures precious, right? The unknown.