Slog for the Pay Off

I may have just discovered my least favorite part of writing professionally. Without a question it is outlining, specifically following the snowflake method. After getting neck deep into a number of stories, mostly novel length tails, where I get to climax and wonder “what the hell am I doing?” I’ve opted to take a new-to-me, and possibly more constructive approach to this tale. Following the rules, as it were.

I’ve completed the early steps to planning using the method. Right now I’m going scene by scene and creating an outline of this story. It feels very much like shaving my head with a cheese grater. Painful, unnecessarily painful. That said, the crux — the part of story telling I have the most difficulty with — is coming into focus. I can see that when I sit down to write this, if I persevere during this painful slog toward an outline, I’m going to have a much easier time of it. I’ve also probably saved myself an immense amount of time in re-writes and revisions.

The odd thing is that back when I was doing program management for major software concerns this was the part that I really enjoyed. Creating the battle plan was then much more interesting and enjoyable than the execution phase. So, while I take a break and look up from my outline, I’m left speculating on this personal change. Was planning major, integrated hardware and network platform solutions the most creative thing I could do when engineering and planning were my occupation? During execution there was very little for me to do beyond tracking forward progress and reporting that motion up the food chain. These were the BBB* times in my life back then.

My anticipation for the writing phase of this tale is growing. This is a good idea, a compelling story that will have popular appeal. And, perhaps more than that, I’m going to enjoy writing it. So maybe that’s the positive angle I need to take on this endeavor. The outline is increasing my desire to write the story. Get the outline done, get it done right, and I can and will write it.

* BBB: Bored Beyond Belief

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