I have been working on a sci-fi novel over the last few months. I had an idea where I wanted to take it, but couldn’t get it to quite come together.
Today, I wrote something vaguely like an outline for it, but more like a list of scenes in bullet form.
Yes, I know. Outlines are an old and very useful means of organizing a story. I have rarely used them, however, as I have written mostly short stories, for which I have found outlines superfluous. But, as Hemingway said, novels are a different animal from a short story. Using my list of scenes has helped me tremendously, not just in organizing, but also in making sure important details and connections are covered. As a result, I feel that today I have made substantially more progress today than at any other time working on this novel. I will be using this method on my other works in progress. My output should increase significantly.
We live and learn.