So, I’ve put my writing on hold. Sort of. Not really on hold, but I’m taking a few steps back. I just finished reading Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland. And I have to say, before reading her book; I was a no-outline kind of person. Sure I jotted down ideas, came up with a basic synopsis for my book, and knew what the ending as going to be. I even put a fair amount of thought into the characters and the back story. But then I started writing and I got through the prologue and about half of the first chapter only to realize I didn’t really know where I was going. I know the overall story, but I don’t know the all the steps to get there.
I kind of picture it in my head like this; there is really big staircase in front of me, one of those ones that curves around and has landings on every floor. In my story, I know the landings, but I don’t know the individual steps I have to climb on to get to the landings.
So, after reading the book (which went quickly – it’s about 175 pages), I’ve decide to go back to the outlining stage. I’m going start at the beginning of her book and going chapter by chapter and following her advice on creating a detailed outline. I’m not sure I want to call it an outline because that brings to mind all sorts of scary Roman numerals and parentheses, but you get the gist. It may be a little time consuming, which is one of the reasons I have avoided an in depth outline in the past. But I think it will be worth it in the long run. I think it will help with the actual writing and I think it will help in the crafting of the story; it will be that much better for it.
We’ll see after I get through the exercise if I feel the same way, but I’m thinking I will. In fact, I think I will be completely pro-outline. I’ll let you know how it goes.