Thursday, September 10, 2015

To Outline, or Not to Outline

A few months ago, I wrote this post about outlining a novel vs just free writing.  My first novel I did not plan out much before I started writing.  I just let the story develop by itself.  But after researching some more, I learned that most people outline the whole story of a novel before writing it.  So I decided to take that approach with novel #2.

My second book is in two parts, with a time jump in the middle.  I was anxious to just begin writing, so I outline the first part, knowing I'd do the second half later.  However, once I got through the first, I let the second half develop on its own.  While I was doing that, I got to know my characters better, and ended up going back to the first part and adding in chapters, more description, and better transition.

All in all, the outline didn't work for me.  I was conforming my charters into the story, instead of letting them take the lead.  Once I abandoned my outline, the writing came much smoother.

So for me, outlining is NOT the way to go.  I need to start with an idea and just go from there.  I don't know if that's right or wrong, but if it works for me, then I think it's the best way to go.

What do you do when you start your novel.  Is it more helpful to free right, or outline first?  I'd love to hear your stories in the comments below!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Done With Two

I once heard a quote somewhere that anyone can write one book.  But not everyone can write two.

Well when I first embarked on this writing career, that quote made me nervous.  What if I was a one-book wonder?  What if I couldn't come up with other stories to tell?

That's why I'm so happy to come here and say on Friday night I finished the first draft of my second book!  It took me about three and a half months to finish, which I'm not sure if that's a good sign or not, but apparently once my ideas start flowing, I can't stop them.  I also sleep very little.

I felt like it was Christmas Eve on Friday morning, when I knew I only had one more chapter to go.  There is such an overwhelming sense of peace and accomplishment once that last word is written.  There really is nothing else like it.

I used a different process for writing this one versus the first book.  I'll compare and expand on those in another post later this week.

There are hours upon hours upon hours of editing I have in front of me, so I'm taking some time off it this week.  I'll start looking it over next week, with fresh eyes.

So now for now I'll enjoy that 86,653 words later, I have finished my second novel!!