A Writing Journey

Posts tagged ‘outlines’

I know I said…

It just so happens that I am really terrible at following my own rules. For instance: I said I wasn’t going to start working on book 3 for a while. I said I was going to at LEAST finish transcribing SOTD onto the computer. Well I just couldn’t resist. I’ve got about a third/half of the outline for 3 done, as well as the first ten pages. To be honest, I was going to write just the first scene tonight but it turned into most of the first chapter. I would keep going but between writing and crochet my hand needs a break!

I’m fairly excited for book three – I’m excited that it’s finally coming to a close (even as I say that I laugh at myself. It will be at LEAST a year of writing the first draft, and many more months editing and reworking. Besides, I haven’t even gotten past the first draft of book 2!). So even as I laugh, I am excited. I’ve known how this story will end for about three years now. Yes, some things have tweaked and changed in that, but the ultimate ending will still be the same and I CAN’T WAIT!

Do you have endings that you just can’t wait to write?

You know, I think part of my excitement is that I have been working on this story, in it’s many forms, since 2010. I wrote the first short story that inspired it all back when I was finishing my freshman year of college. It seems like so long ago now, and a lot of the story and world has changed since then. But some things have not. The main cities bear the same names as first I gave them, there are still mountains that house ancient ruins, the character in that short story has played a minor role in the first two books and will blossom in book 3. (Seriously, I am excited that his story still plays a part in the over all tale.) There is a deep sense of contentment that comes with knowing that I’m almost there. And it’s contentment with energy. I am energized by being so close to the end.

I think, after I finish 3, I will take a break in another world for a while. It’s a little early to say that for sure, but I think I need to let it all rest, to go and explore another strange land – to be an adventurer again rather than a native.

Of course, thinking about the end of this trilogy has also got me a little bittersweet. Again, I know it is premature, but I really am almost there. I’ve been through so much with these characters, this world. I can’t imagine what life will be like when I pack them all up in boxes and move on. When their stories are finished, will I keep thinking about other parts of their lives? Will I want to write them again? I wonder how I will be able to leave them. They are like my friends, and I will miss them.

But not yet! Because I still have plenty of time with them. ūüôā So for now I will be content with that.

Write on, my friends.


WIP Updates

Well, revisions are coming along nicely for QFS. Some of the chapters require more work than others, ¬†but I am pleased to say that overall the revisions are minor, ¬†and mostly consist of converting narration from “telling” to “showing.” This is an enjoyable process because I get to add detail and play with the order of words to match my narrator’s voice.

I have also been working in the first draft of the sequel and am about six chapters in. So far I am happy with it, ¬†and especially happy that I am following my outline so well! ¬†I can’t wait to get the first draft done, ¬†but it will be a while yet. ¬†Still, ¬†I am happy.

How are your various projects coming along?

Take care,  fellow travelers.

Outline Update

A couple weeks ago I wrote about outlining to prevent writer’s block. I can now say that this does not work for me. I have my outline and I love it, but it’s not the path of the story that is what trips me up, it’s all the little things that take place along the way. I know my characters are going to argue, and what they are going to argue about, yet when I get to writing it, I can’t think.

Now this isn’t to say that I am never going to outline again, I actually really like having the whole shape of the story written down. I like knowing what my characters are going to do (of course they always surprise me when they do something different, and I like knowing all the things that are going to happen. But outlining isn’t going to be the way I beat writer’s block.

Or maybe it’s just laziness that I am terming writer’s block. Sometimes I can’t tell the difference. Either way, I’ve still only got a few chapters of the sequel. But it’s better than nothing!

Take care, fellow travelers.


Yesterday, I finished typing up the edits for my manuscript. I will be letting it rest for a little while now. And since I finished that early in the morning, I spent the rest of the day outlining the sequel.

Now, I’m not usually one for outlining. What I normally do is write out a basic plot guideline and follow that. I did that for the sequel, but decided to try something new. I recently read a blog post (which you can read here) about how outlining can help prevent writer’s block. I say why not try, right? After all, I’ve posted about how writer’s block can be considered a fear of failure, and an outline can help a person ignore that little voice that says you don’t know what you’re doing. With an outline, you know right where your story is headed.

When I was in high school, I hated outlines. My teachers always said they had to be in a very specific format. My speech teacher took off points for commas, conjunctions, and even if one sentence spilled into two lines! She was a great teacher, but she was also the reason that I hated outlines until my junior year of college. That was when a professor (in an anthropology class) said “I don’t care about the format of your outline, I just want some sort of outline.” Really, she didn’t care? I felt so free!

And I promptly started writing my outline in the same format that my speech teacher taught. Well, almost the same. I had lots of commas and conjunctions. And oh my, I had run-on sentences spanning four lines! It was amazing.

On the outline for my sequel, a lot of the points are simple things like such-and-such happens, this character feels this way, that character will say this. Easy stuff. But my hand was cramped and it took about five hours (though I did have interruptions which probably took a lot of that time). Still, I think it will pay off. I’ve got a sort-of detailed 10-page outline now! (Is a 10-page outline a little much? I don’t know. Sometimes I get carried away.)

I have high hopes for this!

Do you outline before you start a new project? Share your thoughts!

Take care, fellow travelers!

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