The story I'm writing has no outline, but is keeping me entertained. Am I OK?
It really depends whether or not you are looking for publication of just for your own amusment. If the latter, then fine, if the former you will probably need to work out an outline to give your story more structure to get past an editor. Of course, if you are just aiming to publish on the web, carry on, anything will do for the web, not much structure or quality is needed.
But the outline can come later. Free writing can reveal so much that an outline would inhibit. A first draft is where the mistakes are made, and the gems discovered - the edit is where all the problems are ironed out.
Possibly, you get an idea, start writing, usually running out of steam. Or you can get an idea, start fooling around with it turning the idea in and out on itself. To write for print there has to be some structure/outline to work from.
Of course, that goes without saying. But while mcbel is enjoying this flow of writing I think it could possibly be counterproductive to interrupt that flow to impose structure at this point.
I never said otherwise, but if he is writing for possible print publication, sooner or later ther needs to be structure to get past an editor. A 100 writers will all have different views here.
Absolutely, carry on! At this stage it does not matter at all whether it has an outline - if you're enjoying yourself, just keep on writing and see what happens. So many people crave that kind of writing stream and don't find it because they start to worry too much about structure and content and plot. I think you should just go with the flow and see where the writing takes you.
Have you done NaNoWriMo? It's so liberating. The aim is to just write, write, write, a new novel in one month (the target is 50,000 words). It's wonderful. I produced some really lovely work when I did NaNoWriMo, because I just wrote with complete freedom. You don't have to just do this in NaNoWriMo month (November); you can do it whenever you like.
If you want to publish it in the end, then you edit - that's what editing is for. But the first draft should be nice and free and uninhibited.
And the chances are, if the story is entertaining you, it will entertain a paying reader.
Must agree with Lady Wordsmith, MC, on this one. I've written and published in nonfiction and fiction, and I absolutely HATE outlines! Why would I even try to write with my hands tied? Moreover, in fiction my characters have nothing but contempt for outlines. Once unleashed on the page, they will go their merry way and dictate to me what their stories are.
Whether or not you are "OK" seems to require a medical/psychological evaluation I am not qualified to offer, but your writing method is just fine.
Thank you all for your thoughtful advise. Could not have asked for more! Happy writing!
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