I really like this layout. Very, very much. And I promise I won't change it again. I promise. This layout will last at least through January. Hopefully, I'll be too busy with school and blogging and writing and trying to have a very small, contained social life to even consider going through the pain of customizing a layout into something that I like. (This one was dark and gloomy and there was no picture where those lovely little birds are, only darkness and text.)

Like I said in my last post, I've got a small (really, very tiny I hope) back log of interviews that I nabbed from super awesome writerly-friends that I'll be posting on the blog over the next few weeks. I've just got to spruce up the formatting and time the posts, and that will be done! I've also got a guest post coming up on Kirsten's blog at the end of the month, so keep an eye out for that! And finally, I am having a give away for the loot I scored at ALA this summer. I'll be reading them first and then sending them out to you guys(provided you win). All the books are October/November/December releases. Since September is right around the corner, I feel guilty giving away copies that the author won't be reimbursed for right before their books are out. So yeah. Late fall release contest - the prizes and entry details will be up in a few days.

So. So I feel there's this myth about out-liners. Once the outliner has outlined, the myth says, that's it. The story will follow the outline to it's logical conclusion and that's that. The outline is law, and it is followed to the letter.

As an outliner, I feel it's important to point out that that is wrong. An outline is just like a story: fluid. I have four pages in outline, and almost thirty pages in back story and world building notes. I have the names of barons, districts, provinces, bordering countries, and trade routes. I have royalty from other countries, events that shaped my characters' present circumstances, and hierarchies. (And for those of you shaking your head 'no, no, no' let me assure you that most of this stuff never makes it into the page - but, that's a post for another time).

But all of these things have the ability to change. Characters make decisions that don't necessarily lead to the planned outcome, or you choose to have different outcomes which necessitates a different decision. You write a character a certain way and realize that he's not the villain, but your character's future best friend and maybe even a victim, too.

Creation, and following that, creativity, is a fluid process. Things are made to change. Even if it's not at the outline stage, you expect your characters to grow and evolve. And so too can your outline. And when an opportunity for change presents itself - whether the form is in an epiphany or a snatch of dialogue or whatever - explore it, at least a little.There's usually a reason it popped up.

So what about you guys? Is the story writing process a fluid thing or a rigid, unchanging beast?
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