Last Friday I challenged myself to write an outline for a novel in a week. I might have cheated a little since material for said novel already existed in another form (that of a screenplay). But when expanding it into the longer form of the novel a lot more thought was involved. A general expansion of the plot, with additional subplots and characters. I'm pretty sure all of this is obvious, but it was challenging nonetheless. Especially never having done it before.
It's a week later and, even though it's loose, the outline is done to a point where I feel comfortable starting the prose of the novel. To be honest I'm a little scared at the prospect of writing something so long (never having done it before),but scared in an excited sort of way.
I found, through writing short stories, that I prefer the freedom of discovery writing, but feel I need the structure of an outline when I don't know where to go with the story. I discovered that I prefer to use a hybrid of the two. Having certain plot points nailed down while giving myself the freedom to get there in my own way seems to work for me.
I have a few alpha readers I trust, but I'm not sure if I feel comfortable about using them for an in-progress work. I don't mind getting feedback, but I'm not sure if this will end up impacting the plot. Then again, it could end up making it stronger. Hmmm...
No harm in trying something new, I guess.