Wednesday, May 5, 2010

WIP Wednesday

Oops, it's Wednesday. LOL Oye, real life getting busy :)

Well, quick WIP update....I'm loving outlining...but I'm not so sure it works for me. But I want it to - badly. I spend a good 8 months on revisions after the initial 2 or 3 months of writing draft. I do NOT want to spend an entire year on one manuscript anymore. But outlining seems to kill the drive to write the story.

So, I have two options at the moment.

1. Word vomit draft one and then outline during the beginning of the revision process (thanks for that term, Elana LOL). This option is what I'm leaning toward as it will allow me to get the story out but still organizes things in time to be efficient in the revising arena.

2. Continue trying to outline before draft 1. This one I'm not so sure about. However, my fabulous crit partner and agent buddy Christine recommended an outlining book that is on its way to my house as we speak. I will give it a shot, 'cause hey, I'm will to try just about everything once :)

So, for now, no progress on the fiction WIP. The NF book is getting much closer to being done but work stalled out for a week or so as I dealt with some Real Life stuff. IF I can get all my ducks in a row here, I should be done with revisions on that this week and then will just need to finish up the 4 new chapters we are adding (and they are, thank goodness, at least partially finished).

Then, manuscript off to my editor and I can focus the summer on fiction. Woohoo!

How about you all? How are your projects going? Have any of you tried outlining to find it just doesn't work? Do you outline at all, during any stage of the process?


Amanda J. said...

I've figured out a process that's working for me so far, but I think it only works because I don't always get to write. I pull out a notebook whenever I have a scene in my head and I want to write it but I can't and I summarize the main events. This is usually the next scene though, so it's like outlining the next chapter or two before I have a chance to actually write.

You might give that a shot, because it's the slacker version of outlining, I think, lol. And it doesn't kill the surprise of the story because there's still a whole lot going on that you won't know until you write it.

So, one of mine looks like:
-Taryn and Michelangelo go ___
-He tells her things aren't looking good and he thinks there's a spy amongst them
_Taryn gets upset

Those are some of the bigger points I need to make sure I have, but there's a lot that isn't included in that that I didn't know was going to happen.

I can't wait for the summer either so I can finally have real time to dedicate to writing. I hope you find a process that works for you so the fiction WIP goes by faster. Good luck! And congrats on being close to finishing your edits! :)

Abby Stevens said...

This time (my first novel), I just wrote. Next time, I will outline at least some. I have a feeling it will save me a lot of heartache and dead ends. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love outlining, but it does take a lot of work.

Boy, Elana's full of great terms.

Abby Stevens said...

This time (my first novel), I just wrote. Next time, I will outline at least some. I have a feeling it will save me a lot of heartache and dead ends. :)

Stephanie McGee said...

Progress is progress, even if it's not on the project you hoped. As for outlining, I say just give it a loose outline.

1-"chapter title" with bullet points of major occurrences
2-"chapter title" with bullet points of major occurrences

Etc. on down the line. And chapter title could be as easy as number or just a rough description of what has to happen there with the bullet points of key details below.

It still leaves you plenty of room to suffer a severe case of verbal diarrhea but at the same time you've got a roadmap to help in revisions and first drafting.

Good luck and virtual hugs thrown your way!

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Christine Fonseca said...

As a reformed pantser, I can tell you - outlining works for me. As long as I am flexible with it, you know.

My projects have stalled due to RL stuff...but that is improving every day. Hope to be writing again soon

Angie Paxton said...

In the past I never outlined, but with my WIP the plot came to me all complete in one fell swoop. In order not to lose it I had no choice but to outline and I still have mixed feelings about it. I love knowing where the book is headed but at the same time I feel like its squelched my muse a bit. Good luck with making it work for you.

Talli Roland said...

Maybe a happy medium? Outline the turning points, climax and resolution, then you can be a pantser the rest of the way! Good luck!

Lydia Kang said...

I've done a combo of both. I've outlined my first draft, and on a massive revision, pantsed it the rest of the way. Did I just make up a new verb there?

Zoe C. Courtman said...

I sorta agree with Amanda - I tend to just write...but it usually leads to ideas that I need to work in a later scene. So I'll jot down some loose bullets and then go back to the word vomit. And if the outlining is making you stall - STOP! Do whatever keeps you going forward :D

Elana Johnson said...

I vomit. Words. Some of them stink and some of them are in the wrong order and some of them don't make it (sadly).

Good luck!

Amy Tate said...

I do a sketch outline, but I agree. A detailed outline is smothering. I love your term word vomit, lol!

Carolyn V. said...

My best writing has been outlined. Weird, I know, especially since I love to just go for it. I guess outlining works for me. =)

Jemi Fraser said...

I don't outline - it kind of terrifies me. I much prefer to have a vague idea of the beginning, a pretty clear idea of the final scene and that's it :)

I'm moving forward slowly - this is a crazy busy time of year for me.

MissV said...

Sorry your fiction WIP is stalled, but it sounds like your NF is coming along. Woo Hoo!

I have tried outlining, but it always bleeds into writing. The first few points are high-level, but as I go along, more and more detail creeps in until it's more of a narrative than an outline.

Jovanna said...

Sometimes, if I've got the whole story in my head already and it's impossible to write it in one sitting, I will outline and then take my time. This hardly ever happens. Other times, I don't have the whole story, I don't know what's going to happen, so I am basically writing to find out what the story actually is. If the whole story ever turns up, I will write down the outline and then am not likely to finish writing the story.

Sometimes the story comes in fits and starts, not even in chronological order, so I have to write the bits and pieces on different pieces of paper and put them together later.

I mostly write to find out what the story is or to learn the details of that story, because it's interesting. So if I have the whole outline, I know the story and there's no point in writing it anymore, unless there's a part in it that really piques my interest.

Glad to hear you're getting somewhere in at least one of your projects.

Marcia said...

I don't outline. During the draft, I make notes in the margins about things that should come next, or subplots that should make another appearance. At a certain point in the draft, I may make a list of four to six "high points" that will be hit between that point and the end. Once I have a draft, I'll do any amount of work on it. But to outline before it's written squashes the urge to write the book. Another way of looking at it might be that my first draft becomes the outline.