Outlining

 

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Having decided yesterday to soldier on and not get distracted by looking at my plot – I changed my mind and spent all of yesterday doing just that. I did not write any extra words of the manuscript and turned to pen and paper in my ‘Jaz’ notebook.

I fished out a very useful handout from Rosemary Dun, my Open University tutor and in it – it said ‘Outlines aren’t set in stone. They’re something you can fall back on if you’re feeling lost.’ And that’s what had happened I felt I needed to go through the woods to get where I wanted to be and had forgotten what I was in there for.

I went through various, well known, plot structures writing out my plot from the main character’s point of view, focussing on her main life goal. Whilst this is a romance – she’s a career woman and her main goal is to be successful and make a million.  While I was doing this, I reconnected back to her story and feel again that this isn’t a pile of rubbish – that she does have a story to tell and her life is one worth reading about.

I might go through the plot again, as there are three parts to her story: career, family and romance. So I might do one for each to make sure each plot is getting a mention in every chapter. I’ll then stick the lot against a dated time line, which is a very handy tip from Jenny Kane on her Imagine ‘novel in a year’. I did this with my last novel and found that very helpful. 

Doing this has also highlighted characters I need to develop, so they are not like cardboard cut outs who come on a stage and disappear. I am now feeling a lot more confident and will get back to the writing again today…

Good luck to anyone else novel writing.

Suzanne

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