How not using an outline has changed my WiP!


Loss of control

When I began writing this I thought I would try to write without an outline. Well, that mistake has led me to purgatory. I’m 66k in on the first draft and the book has changed so much I need to go back and start over.

Not completely over, but this will be a second draft. I thought I had a handle on it. I believed that things were different with this story. I knew it in my soul that this one would be different than the others I’d written without an outline.

I was wrong.

The outline I didn’t write for earlier books made those projects thin and fall apart in the middle. Something I won’t do again. Let me repeat that so it gets in my head. I won’t do that again!

Back in control

When I finished the last draft I knew what I needed to fix immediately. I saw it before I finished but couldn’t go back. I knew parts that were broken and characters that had issues that needed to be dealt with.

There was one thing in the story that kept nagging me. Now that I’m on to the new draft I can fix it. This something had nagged me for the last 10k of the draft and I was leery of changing it. It would mean changing a big part of the book and throwing a lot of the first draft in the trash.

I’m looking at the second draft as a way to start over with something I’ve already written one draft of. So with this new draft comes a new outline.

I started writing the outline on Friday using The Anatomy of Story as my guide. This book has saved me so many times that I lost count. This book was given to me by my cousin and most faithful adviser when it comes to writing. She has four books out now and though I haven’t read the fourth I’ve read the others and loved them.

Looking in

As I stare at the daunting task of doing a revision of the book and rewrite of the outline I’m reminded of why I write. It is Saturday night as I write this. It has rained all day in the Las Vegas Valley, a steady kind of rain, desert rain. We just finished listening to the Blackhawks game.

My son is finally asleep after waiting for the game to finish. My daughter has been asleep for two hours now and I know that they would want me to do the revision and rewrite. I ask them to chase their dreams, and they ask me to do the same.

Now that I’m taking another step in this WiP. I know I’m finally headed in the write direction. (That wasn’t a misspelling!)

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