Monday, October 7, 2013

To Outline or Not to Outline - Help From Stacey Kade

One of my favorite authors is Stacey Kade who wrote The Ghost and The Goth series. Since I am a fan of hers on Goodreads, I saw her post about writing tips today. It was just what I needed.

I have been struggling with my outline for my current novel for way too long and was wondering if I should just use part of it and wing the rest. It has been bothering me for over a week. Stacey uses a partial outline and wings the rest. She does have her ending in mind when she writes her novels.

She recommended the following books:

Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

On Writing by Stephen King

 
I left a comment for her at the end of her post and she actually wrote me back right away! That was so awesome! It’s amazing how technology can bring people together so quickly and easily.

I was so frustrated with my novel and prayed that an answer would come to me in some way. It came via Stacey Kade and Tom Clancy.

Yesterday, I read that Tom Clancy passed away. I have never read any of his books, but I’m sure they are good since he is so well known. Most people have heard of him or at least his book The Hunt For Red October. He didn’t use an outline when he wrote and I know that Stephen King doesn’t either.

So, I’m going to go with my gut and write with only a partial outline. I know my ending, at least.

My high school English teacher said I was a good writer and that I should pursue a career in writing. She suggested Journalism. That turned me off right away. The second thing that turned me off was doing an outline. If I had known I didn’t have to write outlines, I might have started my writing career sooner. Back then I would write my story out first then write an outline based on my story just to turn it in to get credit for doing an outline. I still got an A or A+ for my stories.

My next challenge will be to split my book into a series. I already have an idea for a second and maybe a third book, so here’s hoping I don’t bite off more than I can chew.

I tried to cut characters out, but some of them just keep coming back. There’s just too much story to fit in one book. I can’t “kill all of my darlings” as they say. My characters are standing there staring at me waiting for me to write about them. They won’t leave me alone. Does this happen to other writers? I know I've written about this before, but d-aagh! It's so frustrating!

 

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