Tag Archives: outlining

Faster Than a Really, Really Slow Bullet.

My “pages revised” counter for Meet the Larssons has moved a whopping two pages (that’s 0.4%, for those of you playing along at home) today, from 105 to 107 pages revised out of the 500-page printed manuscript.  Revising those two pages took me over 90 minutes, because I also rewrote a page I rewrote yesterday, and wrote an additional page or so of material. It feels like I’m writing the whole book all over again.

On the new shiny object front, I made some headway on the minor character synopses and started putting together the expanded plot synopsis for Project Hometown.  The word meter looks like I added 2350 words (up to 8476) but a lot of that was cutting and pasting from earlier steps in the Snowflake Method.

Update on Project Hometown.

As expected, I didn’t get any work done on the revisions to Meet the Larssons.  I did manage to work on the train downtown this morning and again at lunch on the Snowflake Method outline of Project Hometown.  This is a revelatory process; I’m thinking so much more about the plot and the characters that I think writing this second novel will be a very different experience from the first draft of MTL.  Today, as part of Step 5, I finished an 1100-word synopsis of the main character’s story, and a 350-word synopsis of my secondary point-of-view character’s story.  This is far more planning than I did for MTL, and (so far, anyway) a far more structured plot, which will be much better for my alpha and beta readers.

Days since Dec. 1 without seeing a City of Chicago salt truck: 10.  If you see one, please comment about it.

October Blog Chain: Novelus Interruptus

It’s time for another Absolute Write blog chain, and this time our fearless leader is Ralph at Neither Here Nor There.  He started us off with his post about the agony of working on the second draft of his novel in Of Anxieties, Frustrations and Self-Imposed Deadlines; if you haven’t read it, you should.  I’ll wait.

Tonight, I can only aspire to know Ralph’s pain.  I am thisclose to finishing the first draft of Meet the Larssons, the novel I’ve been working on since January 2.  I wrote something over 3,000 words yesterday alone; I finally called it a night out of sheer exhaustion sometime after 1am.  The draft is currently over 102,000 words long.

But I didn’t finish it.  I have at least two scenes left to go:  the final scene I’ve had in mind since I first hashed out a couple of pages of notes on January 2, and one scene to get me there. If I hadn’t spent all evening working on a brief, I might have finished it this evening.  As it is, I may not get any concentrated time to work on it until Monday, because the whole family is trekking out to New York for a wedding.  We leave tomorrow, and because we’ve got a box full of crazy with our names on it, we’re driving to the Catskills in one day.  Road trip!  So I probably won’t finish until next week, which is a little frustrating.

Not as frustrating as it’s going to be restructuring MTL after I type “The End,” though.  Those few pages of notes are the only outline I’ve ever done for this book, and it shows.  If I’d spent more time outlining, I might not have had to do as much reworking in the second draft; I might even have bee able to skip the second draft altogether and go straight to the third draft, editing words one at a time instead of moving around entire chapters.  On the other hand, I might never have started writing the novel at all, and just figuratively tossed those notes into the same cluttered drawer with all of my other unfinished (or unstarted) ideas for novels or stories over the past 15 years.

Once I have this novel under my belt, though, when I start my next one — and there will be a next one — I expect to spend a lot more time outlining it, maybe chapter by chapter.  I have always thought of myself as an organic writer as opposed to an outliner, but I think I’ll try it the other way to see if it works better.

So what about you, Sassee?  Do you outline, or do you just start throwing words onto the page?

Neither Here Nor There
Unfocused Me
A Blog, I Has One
Headdesk
Spittin’ Out Words Like a Llama
Life in Scribbletown
Organized Chaos
South Asia Fair
Spynotes
Corvette — An American Dream
Christian Woman