I’m an outliner type of person. Which is very useful for building up a natural flow of events in your story and gives you a good idea of what you’ll be writing. However–I have a problem. I can hardly move past this stage. Why?
Say I have my story, beginning, middle and end. Because of three act structure, I have a general idea of how things will go: lead is pulled into the story by the inciting event, there’s a catalyst, a low point for the hero, etc etc. I’ve got my concept and a sense of the stories tone or general direction. And sometimes I know this particular scene will be the catalyst, or this one will be the climax. Usually, however, I try to write down my story elements, like “plot point one, inciting event, etc” and match that to a scene or image I’ve come up with so I don’t get too bogged down in details. Sadly, one of two things happens:
A: I write a super detailed scene that is lengthy and out of touch with the rest of the story. Trying to make it fit into the broader strokes of the story is useless, and instead, I get caught up on a tiny inconsequential moment/detail/plot hole within the scene. This makes me lose sight of much bigger inconsistencies with the scene’s logic or structure, and strung together, all these detailed scenes translate to (very pretty) poorly connected nonsense.
B: I have all of my story scenes or images jotted down… Then I look at the most important story elements, like inciting events, key events, or climax. I can’t decide which should go where and become paralyzed with indecision. While I can chop off a few ideas doing this, I haven’t gotten any further then that. No matter how many times I think it over or ask myself Important Writer Questions, nothing seems to clear my mind enough to make any choice.
Writers, do you struggle with this? What have you done to fix the problem? Have you fixed the problem?