So, I spent my writing days this week outlining. Monday thru Wednesday. I like my way of outlining. I tried something different for outlining my second Venus book, and it worked okay, but didn’t really fit with my creative mechanism, I guess.
I mentioned in an earlier post, when I started the Birth of a Book idea, that I write down “snippets” of ideas for the book as they come to me. This is in the “conception” part of the process. Anything that strikes me as possible to use in the book, I jot down. Bits of dialogue, scene ideas, etc.
Then, this week, I started putting those snippets together into something coherent. I being by typing them into the computer in order of how I think they might fall in the book. For instance, I had an idea of the opening scene, so I typed that first, then another one, then another, all the while inserting things and moving them around until I have them all in the computer in some semblance of order.
Next step is making chapters out of them. Now, obviously I haven’t got snippets of every single scene in the book at this point in time. I have gaping holes where my brain hasn’t filled in yet. So, I start back at the beginning of the snippets, which are now called scenes, and I begin adding, filling the holes, separating into chapters (making sure I have hooks at the ends of the chapters, etc., checking for pacing). This was what I did on Monday. This is one of my favorite parts of writing. The brain is an amazing thing. Where you thought you had no ideas at all, suddenly your mind comes up with just the right moment in time.
As I go along I start noticing patterns…themes…mysterious little ideas that begin to niggle at my creative center. It’s like magic almost, when it clicks with me why these characters fall in love, why they NEED to be together, what keeps them apart and how it fits into their lives. That, of course, leads to more scenes, which I slip into the appropriate spots as they appear.
Sometimes I put it down for a while, go do other things, but all the while, my brain is still working on piecing together the puzzle. The feeling, to me, is kind of like knowing something, and yet not knowing what it is you know. It eventually comes out, but I have to let it condense and brew for a while.
By the time three days was up, I had all the scenes I needed. I liked where I ended it, though I know that it will not be the end of the book, as I didn’t wrap things up neatly yet. That’s okay. The one thing to remember about all this is that it CHANGES. Writing, for most writers, is not about getting it right the first time. It’s about getting it right eventually. And truthfully, I don’t think any of us know our characters well enough when beginning a book to confidently say they will do exactly as I plan them to do. Characters are nothing if not full of surprises.
Well, back to my synopsis. That’s my next step!