Bela Lampert

Optioned Screenwriter / Yoga Instructor

The O Word

I’ll never understand why many writers get so argumentative when it’s about the one thing that can really keep you from getting stuck and make your writing much faster.

The O word.

I’m talking about… outlining of course.

I worked on the TV production side for quite a while so I was always forced to do good planning, because without that you’re just going to fail in that job.

Maybe that’s why planning has become almost second nature for me (although I also avoid it from time to time to be honest).

The thing is, how do you know where you want to go without at least a little bit of planning?

I like to travel.

And I hate travel planning to be honest. I love the travel part so much, but getting all my stuff together, trying not to forget anything, then deciding what kind of transport to use, booking the tickets, an airbnb, maybe some attractions beforehand… I really have to force myself to do it.

But if I don’t do it I can’t travel. Because without it I won’t get anywhere.

There are people who do travel planning on an excessive scale. They plan every day of their vacations from morning to evening, book everything in advance and they know exactly when they’re going to do what.

For me that’s not travel, that’s hell.

I need some breathing room, give the unexpected a chance.

But everybody’s different.

Back to writing.

If I write without a plan, I’m giving the unexpected a chance to show up, but for me everything is too unrestricted. I need at least a framework to work in.

That way I can find the unexpected and the creative things inside of that framework. Otherwise I would lose myself completely.

I’m sure you CAN write a book or a screenplay with no outlining at all, but it’s going to be ten times or a hundred times more work, because what you need to do is you need to discover the elements that don’t work as quickly as possible.

And if you have your broad strokes down, it’s easier to see the problems.

That way you avoid a lot of problems before you even start to write.

And being stuck less means more time for writing and creativity.

What you also need to be less stuck?

Know your outlining tools inside out so you only have to wrestle with your story, not with your tools.

That’s what I created the {!global Membership Site Product Name} for. I also call it the „Netflix for Writing Software“: