Yesterday I spent a lovely hour with a writer friend of mine.
She showed me how she outlined her novels.
As with any new thing I learn, I take what makes sense to me and try it out.
The thing that made the most sense to me was her pre-outlining process.
To be frankly self-depricating, I'm not sure why I had never mentally figure this out on my own. Probably a freak of my personality. I tend to be highly organized and linear in my thinking, so it never occurred to me that I could simply write down random ideas in no particular order, then re-order them later on into a functioning outline.
How simple! How sensical!
Her advice freed me! I went home and immediately began jotting down things that I wanted to occur in the storyline--scenes, thoughts, a few lines of dialogue, etc. I'm nearly ready to take those and begin organizing them into that outline. After that I can start writing!
That's what I'm doing today. The kids are out of school (and while that may not seem like a break for most writers, it is for a homeschooling mom), and the computer is all mine! Mwahahaha!