No big surprise here -- I'm not an outliner. (And I realize outliner is not a word, spellchecker. Thankyouverymuch.)
Well, I don't outline for the first (usually) half of the story anyway. I just write it. Let the words flow and all.
Until I hit The Wall.
It's inevitable. At some point in any story I'm writing, I'll hit The Wall.
I don't always see it coming. I'll be cruising along, loving my characters and the direction then BAM! How the heck do I get out of this?!
Ah, the joys of writing.
That's when I pull out the note cards and sticky notes and get to planning. First thing I do is decide where the story is going to end. Then I look at where I am and where I need to be for the big-picture.
Okay, at this point I'm still OMG HOW DO I GET THERE?!
So I sit on it. It could take a day, or it could take a week, but eventually it'll come to me. I'll see the window through the curtains, down the stairwell to the left. Then I go scene by scene -- what needs to happen and how to reach the ending.
The best part? While I'm waiting for that epiphany, I'm revising. Then the grand moment arrives, I write my little heart out to the ending, and I've got a descent draft ready to go to my alpha reader.
Is this the easiest way to write a novel? No, probably not. Is this the way for most people to write a novel? I'm gonna guess no again.
Is this the only way I can get words on the page? Yep!
If you outline, how do you do it? Scene by scene or a general story arch? And if you don't outline, do you ever hit that wall? How do you work your way around it?