When I start drafting I tend to know a few things:
- my 2 main characters - their names, jobs, main personality traits, flaws
- the 1st scene (or at least what starts it)
- the final outcome or the climax scene (at least a snippet of it)
But it wasn't enough. I still messed up. I've got a major problem because of some unrealistic coincidence type things that seemed perfectly appropriate during the draft. *sigh*
Now I'm facing a big choice. Tweak the ms in a major edit (which should take roughly forever :)) - or keep the story issues in my head and rewrite it from scratch (possibly facing the same issues next time).
I've learned a lot over the past 3 or 4 years that I've been writing, but I still haven't learned to plot in advance and not kill the joy of writing the story. So I'm looking for a little help. I THINK I'd like to create an outline for the same story and then rewrite it. Because I'm removing some MAJOR events and plot points, it's going to be a pretty different story - and I'm more than a little nervous about even trying an outline.
So, let me in on what works for you. 3 act structure? Chapter by chapter outline? Major twists first - fill in from there? A long list of bullet points?
Help! How do you outline? And, how do you outline and still have fun?