So I’m in the middle of writing another international romance. I started out thinking it would be set in Kolkata, just like my Kindle short story (It Started With a Cup of Coffee), but my multi-cultural instincts took my characters to other locations as well. The good news is that I have picked up a new writing process that reduces my anxiety about all the locations and plot details – believe me it can get confusing with your characters and your author’s mind going in different directions. So instead of following one brief outline that I make before I begin, I have been using my colorful index cards to keep every scene outlined in front of my eyes. Scene by scene has been my method this time. Plus, the stationery addict in me is pleased to use an entire stack with one more ready as back up.
Every night, after I finish writing for the day, I go through my cards to check the next scene I’ll be writing. Not very detailed description, maybe five lines about setting, characters involved, and any conflict. As I mentioned above, the story keeps changing from what I had imagined on Day One, so whenever that happens, I throw out the index card for that specific scene, plotting it out again. My process has resulted in creating a new character or two, and some fun unexpected happenings.
With this book, I have learned that sticking to an outline can restrict creativity. Being flexible with my ideas as I go along works well for me.
Fellow writers, what are your thoughts on this?