outlining the next phase

I’ve been receiving feedback on my outline. Overall it’s positive, and there are a number of pertinent and useful comments. Since I’m limited to a line or two about each scene, it’s impossible to convey all the back-story, character development, and actions, but I should be able to express the essence of each scene in a couple of lines.

It’s useful to work on the skeletal level of the story before I get into grafting muscle and tissue onto it. I can determine the pacing, figure out if sections are/aren’t working, and spot scenes that can be cut.

Yet… I don’t like knowing all the answers before I start writing the scenes. It takes the joy of discovery out of it. There’s nothing better than having your characters come to life and start sparking off each other, doing odd and unusual things, and coming to life as your fingers tip-tap on the keyboard.

I don’t want an outline that’s a rigid roadmap that has to be obeyed. I want flexibility, and the ability to adapt to changes in the script as the characters and situations evolve.

I also don’t want to become locked-down on the script. You can over-work an outline. Every scene, in my opinion, has to work for its right to be in the script. If you fall in love with your scenes, before you even write them, then you are less likely to be able to redraft, refine or cut them later on.

I’ll shift through and mull over the feedback, and consider what changes will benefit the story. I don’t know every last detail of my script yet, but it’s coming into focus. It’s got potential. I hope I can express that potential in the best fashion possible.