Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Nicholas Kazan on outlining from memory

with 2 comments

Once the story fleshes out, I start developing an outline until I don’t know what happens next and I stop. I go back to writing notes for a few more weeks until the story becomes clearer and then write another outline without looking at the first one. I start from scratch. If you’ve ever had the experience of losing a document after a computer crash and having to rewrite it without looking at the original, what you often find is that you’ve remembered the best stuff and forgotten what was problematic. That’s why I try to do another outline from memory.

Nicholas Kazan, in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters

Written by nevalalee

September 3, 2011 at 10:10 am

2 Responses

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  1. That is so true. There have been two times when I rewrote something from scratch, and I do believe they turned out to be a lot better.


    September 4, 2011 at 3:25 am

  2. Same here! And I’ve often had the experience of writing an outline, then never referring to it again—my brain retains the good stuff and forgets the rest.


    September 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

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