Wednesday, April 14, 2010
So! I have decided to *gulp* outline my new YA. I don't know what's possessed me (maybe the desire to cut my editing time down to six months LOL) but this time around, I am going all out on the whole outline process.
I've set up a cork board with cards on each of my main characters, their characteristics, motivations, etc. The other side of the cork board has a card for each of my chapters. I have my story arc written (the main conflict, two main turning points, the climax and the resolution) AND I have a basic synopsis written.
I have an idea of how long I'd like the book to be so I will try and break down the events in the book by chapter and get those on the cards.
Now - do I think this will work? Not a clue. It's never worked before, though I've never tried to prepare a book to this extent. Then again, I've never had a clear idea before of exactly how the story will be, from beginning to end. Normally, I have a scene or two in my head and I just sit and write, building on those scenes. And then I generally end up cutting half the book and doing major rewrites and spending months filling plot holes and fixing other glaring problems. I am trying to solve a few of those problems before they start.
This time, I know where I want it to start, what I want to happen in the middle, and how I want it to end up.
This may be because I've been thinking about this story since December. I've never given that kind of thought time to a book before. I may have ideas and jot down notes and think of it now and again, but I really have been seriously stewing on this story for months now.
So, hopefully all this careful preparation won't be for naught once I start the story and the characters take over. I will admit that I am enjoying having a specific checklist of points to hit in the book. That must be the OC list maker in my personality, sighing with giddy delight at my mad organizational skills :D
Well, we'll see how this goes.
On a weird and slightly annoying note - I started writing chapter 1 and it came out in present tense. I don't like present tense as a general rule. Not horribly fond of reading it (though I've had my exceptions, and I have read more of it lately, so perhaps that is feeding into the strange and new direction my writing is taking). I've never written in present tense, so this could be interesting :)
How about you? Do you outline? If so, do you do a basic sketch or really dive in?
And have you ever found yourself changing from your preferred tense into something you've never before attempted...or wanted to attempt?