a.k.a. sarrah kaliski


a.k.a. sarrah

The know-it-all outline


I've made a video about it: the dreaded outlining, or how it used to be. Now to write about it. I have been writing an outline for my new fantasy novel. It is an intense outline. Before I start writing the novel's actual outline, I'm writing the outline's outline. I'm writing the stories of my two main character's parents family histories, the main characters' backstories, minor characters' backstories, the different lands' histories, maps, sketches, family lineages, and so on.

After I write all that, on to the actual outline of what happens in the novel.

Before this novel, I hated outlining, I hated to think about outlining. Then I realized something, and it was this realization that gave me a new outlook on outlining.

We are who we are because of more than what happens in our life, but because of what our parents lived, their parents, the land our families originally were from, and to where they immigrated. Our land's and people's history, legends, and myth affects us. The unanswered questions, the lies we've been told and believe, and the moments that go unnoticed and seemingly unimportant affect who we are. Yes, we are unique, our lives our own, but there is those things that shape us, whether we strive to be better than our families or to make them proud, they shape us. We are more than what we try to control to be, we are not so shallow, we are a sea of invisible lives riding on our backs.

Thinking about this a thought struck me one day: if we are like that, why wouldn't my characters be like that. And it was that thought that made me want to write an indepth story about all my characters and lands, writing about what made them who they are.

There's a difference between knowing the histories and backstories, and then there's writing them all out in detail for your eyes to see. It brings the story to life and keeps it feeling tangible, real, breathing more than normal.

I would love to hear how you write. Do you outline? If so, how do you do it?