Huh? What?

Wow… It’s been so long since I’ve been here I almost forgot the address!

The problem with a blog about writing is that to an outsider, writing can be… well, to be blunt, mundane.  It’s hard to write a blog post about what I do day after day, because it’s much the same.  For the past couple weeks I’ve been planning and outlining.  Day, after day, after day… Developing characters, deepening stakes, asking, “Yeah, and…?” over and over again.   Or “OK, but why should I care about that?”  Because it’s very important for your readers to care about these people in the story.  So that’s what I’ve been up to.
Life has been pretty boring other than that.  
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3 thoughts on “Huh? What?

  1. I choose to believe the main reason you haven’t posted much because I haven’t had the time to read any blogs. Outlining, planning, character development, and revisions – all the makings of a great read 🙂 I don’t outline all that much, but I write lists and notes and charts and summaries. I draft a flow of events. I don’t think those count as outlining. I’m sure a daily blog post of “spent the day outlining” would be boring, but lots of us would like to hear how you outline, especially if you find it useful during the crafting phase.

  2. You know, what you do, the charts, notes, lists and summaries, IS outlining. I’m not sure how many authors you would meet who actually do the I. A. i. a. type outlining. WHen I hear most authors talk about their outlines, they mean a narrative thing, something living that they can mold and work with, not some militaristic, creativity crushing thing that rules over them and the story. I like having an organic thing that I am the boss of, and that I FEEL that I am the boss of.A lot of my “outlining” comes in the form of writing little scenes, things that may or may not make it into the actual novel, but that help me get to know the mood of the novel, the voice of my characters, that reveal little things about them. My outlines are more like synopses, in paragraph form to begin with, and then I might make a bit of chart or something to see how events line up. I still like to play with post its on a big piece of that sketch paper you buy on the roll. This way I can roll it out when i need to, and roll it up when it needs to be out of the way. THe post its help because I can “see” where i need to do what. I can see, “Oh, my love scene would work better here,” or “my midpoint is not where it should be…”LOL what is “drafting a flow of events” if it is NOT outlining?

  3. Good point. I use a word doc to make notes on what happens when but I do it as I write. Then, if I need to move something, I can go right to a speicific chapter and cut and paste that scene elsewhere. LOL I guess my charts and summaries and lists ARE outlining. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I’ve always thought of it as my way of keeping track of everything.I love your comment about working with something organic. That means it can grow and change and is adaptable. I use those oversize index cards to make notes on and flip through those when I’m experiencing a persnickety plot problem or one of my characters is acting like a doof. But when I’ve tried the post-it notes, I get more confused. I feel like I have to work in concrete, so my charts have to indicate what is there. If I make a change, I have to change the charts. Because of my obsessive tendencies, I could easily spend more time messing with my charts than writing my novel if I’m not careful! The whole idea of moving things around on post it notes makes me jittery and anxious 🙂 It’s like someone coming in and rearranging my cupboards: even if it’s me, I can’t walk away until the entire process is complete. Maybe that’s why I have a hard time moving scenes around until I feel like I have all the essential scenes written.

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