A week ago I was lying in the foetal position, chanting “I don’t know, I don’t know.” I had written the first third of my draft and realised there was big leap to the next scenes. My outline had too many gaps moving forward. I can see the whole story laid out in my head, but I didn’t have puzzle pieces to get there.
I started handwriting in my journal the scenes I couldn’t work out. Bullet-point by bullet-point until the scene was completely fleshed out. I would then type this up. I did this for two scenes and it worked wonders. Then a light-bulb turned on. This is what all those vloggers I watch mean when they say they have a very detailed outline! I needed this kind of bullet-points for every scene already laid out. The thought of doing this as I went seemed exhausting. So I’ve stopped drafting and I’m back to outlining!
Remember end of April I showed you that big heavy outline on index cards? I typed up every single one of these into my scrivener doc. I remembered I originally outlined two books as one. The motives for characters were a bit higgeldy-piggeldy. That’s a fun word to type.
I separated Brittany’s scenes and Charli’s scenes. They have completely different stories, so I decided to do one at a time so I didn’t get confused. I had to think about what the basic plot was. I have many sub plots going on, and some of them think they are most important. I had to get back to basics and scattered the other scenes around them. I even written back-stories for all the major players. Incredibly helpful. I may even post a few of them to my website when I get them cleaned up. Watch this space!
I’ve realised I want to know everything that is going to happen. I’m too afraid to go off on a wild tangent. I’ve done that too many times, and it’s frustrating as all hell. Through outlining I’ve already found scenes I can cut. They give away information too quickly, I want to cut a character, or there is a duplicate scene elsewhere.
I hope to get this outline done this week, as I have the week off from work. I took the time off as it is my birthday this week! I’m going to the YA Masterclass at The Emerging Writer’s Festival. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to listen to authors in my genre giving tips and tricks of the trade. So, I’m hoping the birthday shenanigans don’t interfere too much with outlining. I can’t see anyone dragging me away for too long. I am too enthusiastic about this updated, in-depth outline.
I’ll fill you in next week about what goes down at the YA Masterclass. Please let me know any of your outlining tips. Or have you hit a bump in the road in your writing? I’d love to discuss with you.
And yes, stationery is the best birthday present.