Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The beauty of outlining

Something's been eating at me.  No, not literally.  All my pieces and parts are intact.  I mean figuratively, and it's because of my outline for Neutral Ground.

It just wasn't quite right.

The great thing about outlines, though, is that they're not whole novels.  If I was a pantser, then I'd be looking at major revisions involving thousands of words.  But with an outline, preforming major surgery on a novel's structure is fairly easy.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and a thousand words of outline is worth ten thousand of novel.

So I rearranged a few things.  Instead of having Character A and B have a conversation in Setting X, I now have Characters A and C having that conversation much later and in Setting Y.  And I may trim down some other scenes, too, that I fear may bog the story down in the beginning.

For me, this is the "creative" part.  This is where I do my thinking.  Once I start the draft, I don't want to think anymore.  I want the actual writing to be more like filling in the blanks.  The prose shows what the outline tells, more or less.

I don't when I'll start this draft.  All I know is I won't start it until the outline is right.

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