By Hedgebrook Guest

Outliners Vs “Outlawers”

Writers, I have generally observed, tend to write their first draft from one of two camps. They are either Outliners or Outlawers. Outliners prepare; they are ready; they have journals and graphs, stimulating scents and special writing music and Outlawers… well they don’t. I am a hand on heart confessed Outlawer. There is only one way I can write the first words of a new project, and that is running with my hands in the air screaming towards the amusement park of my imagination. I arrive at my keyboard on day one with a 100 different half-blown cobbled together ideas, scenes and sketchy characters all breaming inside me like a stove full of pressure cookers ready to blow. Then once, I start writing there is no real rhyme or reason to my first draft. My process goes something like this, Okay, first the Rollercoaster, no, no the Carousel, then the Ferris Wheel then I have to tackle those high swings and OMG is that the Haunted House. Usually what dictates the first tentative lines of my latest masterpiece is what shouts the loudest in the vaudevillian theater of my imagination. I can often start right in the middle of a story some odd, unimportant scene that has been haunting me for weeks. It comes to me complete with a gang of derelict characters that have been following me around like a bad smell hollering “me, me, pick me, write me.”   Read more