Writerly Agoraphobia

As my agent could tell you, recently I've been a little lazy.
Er, make that "very" lazy.

The Objective: Complete synopsis of current WIP and e-mail it to agent-o-awesome.
Difficulty: Moderate.
Time Estimated: A day
Time In Reality: Whoa I'm so darn lazy.

Fact is, I can't even remember the day I told her I'd get it to her, that's how long its been. But I guess that's all water under the bridge now that it is done and e-mailed. But wait, I still haven't finished it?

I'm soooo darn lazy. But today at least I finally started in on it. I rewrote some lines and thought things through and came to an excellent conclusion: synopsising and outlining are really fabulous tools for me.

I know not all writers agree on this point. For instance, outlines result in a serious case of claustrophobia for quite a few writers. And creative claustrophobia is never a good thing. If you are one of those writers, don't take this as an attack or anything - because I understand we are all different - but without this synopsis and outlining I'm doing today, I'd be completely lost. I would be in a situation the direct opposite of claustrophobia. Agoraphobia. I would be in a space so large and vast that I would panic at the sheer impossibility of taking the right route for my novel.

About fifteen minutes ago I met Simon, a caring young man who, overnight, goes from having a perfect relationship to dealing with an insane girlfriend. In earlier versions in my mind, Simon didn't exist in my WIP.

About ten minutes ago I ironed out a sticky plot point.

About five minutes ago I gave my main character's father a special disappearing act he will play out very well and right on cue.

In short, in about 20 minutes of outlining and synop writing I did away with what could easily have become over 20 hours - 20 days - of horror in the middle of writing the actual draft.

If I didn't outline I wouldn't have thought through the perfect subplot in under half an hour. If I hadn't written this synopsis, my readers would never have met this particular character, who has so much heart and amazing chemistry. I wouldn't have felt that spectacular "Oh this is how it will work out" feeling I love so much. Mainly, without outliningg my writerly agoraphobia would mean I'd never finish a novel.

I don't know of anyone else who depends on outlining as much as I do. Maybe that makes me less of a writer, but who cares? I do what works for me. I like the end results.

Also, finishing an outline gives me a really nice sense of accomplishment early on. Who doesn't like that? :D