Friday, February 1, 2013

Doing an outline.



I've written an broad outline for the second half of my vampire book.  This is something I don't normally do, but I felt was necessary this time to make sure that my themes are carried out.  I'll see how it works, and how closely I stick to the outline once I'm actually writing.

I prefer discovering as I'm writing, which is more fun.  But it's a hold up when I can't figure out where the plot goes next.  Usually, I have to spend some time before writing working out where the next chapter works in the overall scheme and then what that chapter is going to be like.

Having a more complete outline means much of this is already done,  more like filling in the blanks.  A certain number of words per day, and I'm done.

Still plenty of inspiration and discovery in the actual writing.  And it keeps me from writing myself into problems.

I've figured out one major change I have to make, but I think it's doable without reorganizing, which is a relief.  Meanwhile, by outlining, I'm hoping to avoid future problems.

For instance, I had the hero hiding in a cave, but once I wrote it out, I realized it made more sense plotwise to have him hiding in an abandoned house or something.  The cave was meant -- thematically -- to be the bottom and his resurrection or birth.  But I've already had him reaching bottom, hiding under a tarp and eating bugs, and the basement of a house can serve the same metaphoric meaning.

So I saved myself some logistical problems by working out the plot in advance.

I do tend to have the rest of a book vaguely outlined in my mind by this time in a book -- usually about a third to halfway in it will suddenly take shape.

I'm just being more detailed this time.

7 comments:

Martha Kay said...

I should do that. But I'm not gonna. XP

Duncan McGeary said...

And I don't blame you.

It takes some of the walking on fire thrill out of it.

Martha Kay said...

I tend to lose interest if I get too organized about anything. Not sure what that says about me... :P

Duncan McGeary said...

That's the way I've always been too.

I'm trying to find a happy medium. A loose structure where I can still be creative, but maybe think it out a little before I start.

Mostly, stories have an existing structure somehow and I'm just discovering it.

When that doesn't happen, like with NEARLY HUMAN, where I'm imposing a lot of afterthoughts on it, then it doesn't work.

But the afterthoughts come because the story didn't work as it came to me.

Like I said, I'd like to find the in-between solution.

Duncan McGeary said...

By the way, it's very cool that you're writing and even better that you think you're going to finish!

Martha Kay said...

Yay, thank you! I came up with a working title today while talking to a friend: PLAYING GAMES. Super excited. :D

Duncan McGeary said...

Nice!