I am not an outliner. Not even when I am writing shorter pieces. Sometimes, I have an idea of where I want to go....but often, there is only a title/concept and a pencil. Which means there are infinite possibilities, which is great.
But not all of those possibilities are good. Which is not so great.
Why I wish that I could outline is because it would be so much easier when I start to know what was going to happen. It would be easier to know if the route I was taking would pan out or not.
But I cannot outline because the outline lies.
It is a big fat liar. We're talking liar-liar-pants-on-fire-liar.
It doesn't mean to lie. I mean, it's probably nice enough. It just makes promises that it can't keep. And that is one of my huge pet peeves. Just ask anyone in my family. I mean, if you don't know when you're going to be home, just say, "I don't know when I'm going to be home." Don't say you'll be home at 9 and them come waltzing in at 11:45 and look at me like I shouldn't have been worried or anything. Because I was.
The outline often leads you to believe that a story is something that it's not. (Because, really, the outline doesn't even know what the story is until you-the-writer write it.) It pretends it knows what is going to happen, but until that pencil touches paper (or fingers touch keypad), it is just as lost as the rest of us. But the outline likes to think it has a clue, so it claims it is a structure for your story. Yeah, right.
And it is because I don't trust that little deceiving outline that I often end up taking several paths into a story before I find the one that works, the one that allows the story to reveal itself. This is a pain, but at least it's honest. At least each path tells me the truth, "Hey, lady, I don't know if this is the right way or not....."
Not like that outline, promising the road map of the true story, but offering no more than one possibility.