I did some of my best stuffing around yesterday. I’d planned to work on the outline for my novel, determined to get something down before bed. I did some research on the best ways to outline, spending at least three hours trying to find a way that suited me. The internet abounds with suggestions on plotting and planning; they range from writing a simple two page summary to a fifty page précis that could almost count as a first draft. Then I researched characterisation and found similar results. Character profiles ranged from a brief description of key traits and roles to detailed profiles that ended up looking like medical reports or rap sheets. I understand that the writer must know more about her/his characters than the reader, but do you really need to know what colour pajamas they wear, or what their exact weight is? Isn’t this just another excuse to procrastinate?
In the end I decided that a scene-by-scene approach and a simple character card was appropriate for me. I opened OneNote and made some pretty templates (below) to aid me in my outlining mission. By the time I was done researching and setting up the templates it was 2 am. It was time for bed.