My general thought on outlining is that it’s beneficial. I had to force my way through the process, because I’m not an outliner. I’m an organic writer, someone who sits down with an idea and writes it twenty different ways to see which storyline sticks. That being said, it takes almost two years to get through one project. This hardly makes me prolific and one day, I’d like to have all the older storylines in my head pounded out on paper. It will make thinking a lot easier with all the extra room in there.
I wasn’t sure how to start the outline. At the top, I wrote out the plot and underneath plot, character A’s desire and under that, character B’s desire. It was super rough, because I usually don’t find out their true desires until I’m on draft three of my organic plotting. Underneath that, I wrote One through Twenty out on the blank document so I could jump between the chapters as the events took fold in my brain. I had about four false beginnings which took me two weeks to see instead of six months and three full drafts. I changed the motivation a few times and had to mix the events in a different order. Two weeks later, at the end of the outline process, I felt like I drafted the book four times over. I usually do a load of drafts until I find the problems, but it took two weeks to see a great deal of the major issues in plotting and sequence.
Since this process worked better than planned, I’m thinking about doing a new outline every month. That will get at least 12 stories out of my head and the next project will already have a head start. I finished early with December’s test run on the outline, so I’m starting early on January. If by some miracle I manage to get this next outline done before January, I’m hoping this means I can get at least two extra outlines squeezed in for the year. That would cover almost all the thoughts currently in my head.
My writing projects usually center on dark elements, but for my reading time, I enjoy quirky and quick. I’d like to make my Urban Fantasy series quirky, so I told my friend about this and her prompt reply was, “That’s not your style.” Me: “But it could be my new style!” Her: “You can give it a shot…” She didn’t sound convinced that I could pull this off. I’m not so sure either. Every time I think I’ve done something clever and funny, my usual beta readers hand it back saying, “Nope, still dark.” It’s just a thought right now so I need to think a little harder on it. I wanted the Urban Fantasy to be more like Stephanie Plum, but knowing my style, it’d be Sweeny Todd because the bodies pile up. It seems I have a Poe heart.
Axed the original idea for the BK outline and tried a different plot with a different lead character, keeping one of the original characters in mind. Also, I spent the entire day trying to figure out an appropriate name for this character. I was calling him Bear because he came from the mountains, but it was more like the animal he'd represent if he were a loner. Found a way better name that sounds less hairy.