Giving this Outlining Thing a Try

I hit a funk with Book 3, so decided to outline the whole thing to get a better picture of it. I just didn’t expect it to be 10,000 words. And growing.

Yeah, I’ve proudly written Books 1 and 2 of Wasteland Chronicles with very little planning other than what was in my head. But I just now finished outline one of Book 3, and feel rather pleased with it. The fact that it’s so long has me worried the book itself will be long. I kind of wanna go in and add some stuff here and there to slow the pacing a bit. Even at ten thousand words, all it is at this point is nonstop action – which is pretty much what Books 1 and 2 were, but I want to have some more room in there to experiment with other things, like romance and such. I don’t want to be a one trick pony.

I wish I could print this thing out and show it off in all of its fifteen page, single-spaced glory, but my printer is acting weird, declaring it has no paper when in fact it has plenty. This outline is rough and not in its final form. I kind of want to experiment with heavy outlining, knowing exactly how I want the book to be before I write it, to see if this level of control is for me. Knowing me, though, I’ll let the characters have their way if they find a better path.

I think outlining has certain advantages. You can find plot problems before they start, and if something in the end doesn’t fit with the beginning, you can go back in fix the beginning without having to trash paragraphs of prose. You can also glance at the scenes, and see if there are four heavy action scenes in a row, and add a slower scene in them. You can see all the threads working together to form the rope of your narrative, as it were. As of now, both Books 1 and 2 were pretty straightforward with only one main plot. Hopefully, I can work in at least one subplot with this one.

All this was inspired by readingĀ  2K to 10K, a book about increasing your daily word count. It made a very good case for outlining and learning as much about your story as possible before diving in, and I’m going to give it a try with this one and see how it goes.

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