When it comes to short stories and novels, I’ve always had trouble with the question of free writing versus outlining. In my first two novels, I outlined them to death. One of the reasons I have problems with them is that over-outlining lead to less of a realistic flow. A good flow comes building a good base to your story and building realistic characters. Then you set them free. The magic happens when you let them do what they would normally do. You no longer control them. They are their own person.
However, such free writing is often difficult. If you don’t set up “checkpoints” for how far the story has to go in a certain amount of time, it will lead nowhere. I think I have found a good in-between with my new novel. In no way am I outlining the piece to death. At the same time, I am putting together the right amount of checkpoints. I know that these checkpoints cannot be the end-all. Everything must be flexible. Otherwise you are trying to stuff a story into a box that it should not fit in.
I’ll try to have a poem or flash fiction piece for you tomorrow. And yes, I did reach my 2,000 word goal for today. I also extended the outline toward the finish line. The end is within reach. I can almost taste it.