I wonder how many of you fall (if only occasionally) into the same trap I do?

I spring from my bed in the middle of the night with a sure-fire, 100% super cool idea, take great pains to write it down as legibly as possible, and then let it percolate the rest of the night in periods of sleep and wakefulness.  Then, having ruminated sufficiently to prevent any real rest, stumble into my office to write.


The first thing I do then is to outline the idea.  Well, I call it an outline.  Sometimes it is little more than five or six ideas written in order, but whatever you call it, I treat it like an outline.

Worse, I treat it like an outline etched in Carbonite.  And that’s the rub.

For me, the trick is learning to treat an outline like a soft set of ideas rather than hard, fast rules.

The fact is your ideas will mature.  As you construct your story new thoughts will worm their way in, and it is being open to them that makes the difference between a, say, a still life and a motion picture.

Keeping yourself open to change, open to the evolution of your ideas, can make all the difference in the world.