To Outline or Not!

This week on Open Book Blog Hop we’re discussing the outline. Actually we’re discussing how we begin an outline.

I don’t outline my stories.  I have an idea of what I think the book and characters will be about before I start, but often things change during the writing process and how I thought the story would end up is different than my beginning thoughts.  That’s okay, though.  I like it when my characters find their mojo and go with it.  The most I’ll do is write up a character interview of my hero and heroine before I start.  That gives me an idea of who they are, what they’re about and some of their background.  Then, as I am writing, I have those interviews at the ready to remind myself of how they might behave or who they are.

In Dog Days of Summer, Jeremiah was a man who was going it alone in life.  He raised his twin sons and built a business.  He had a loving family and was close to them.  The one thing missing was a woman to call his own, but he wasn’t actually looking.  Joci happened to walk into his life through her son, Gunnar.  It was a chance meeting, but when Jeremiah saw her, he just knew she was the one.

That happens in life and I’ve had many people tell me that they have had a similar experience when they met their “one and only”.  You know those little butterflies in your tummy, the shiver when you first touch, the rapid beating of your heart and the longing of more!  That happens.  

Ooops, back to outlining.  Had I outlined that story, it would have gone differently than it did.  In the beginning, LuAnn wasn’t even a blip on my radar.  LuAnn was a woman who had set her sights on Jeremiah, but he wasn’t even aware of her in that way.  You know, “that way”.  But as the story grew, so did LuAnn’s irritation and character or lack thereof.

I do want to mention that I enjoy listening to writers discuss how they plot or outline a story.  I admire that they can do that.  But, I’m a total pantser and I guess I’ll stay that way.  How about you – do you outline?