Friday, June 8, 2012

Outlining is for Loserz

Wait...  Losers can't be right, can it? Oh, crap! I'm a loser! I'm kidding. Relax...

Describe your outline process for your book. What do you do to stay organized? 

I shoot chapter one from the hip. Only after that chapter is down do I worry about any kind of outline. If you can't write the first chapter from nothing but a note on an idea, chances are your book won't work. This is only true for fiction writers, I think.

If my story is working after that chapter, I open up a new document in MS Word and fire off a list of chapter headings. Under those headings, I write a snatch of the chapter happenings. After that is complete, I write down how my protagonist will change from the beginning of the book to the end and what decision he/she is faced with that changes his/her life forever. Then, I try to decide on an ending. What is that character trying to achieve? Will he/she succeed? I am rarely able to answer that last question until I actually reach the end, but no harm in thinking about it.

I start another document with character attributes. Names, places, religion, descriptions. If my character has green eyes in chapter two and brown eyes in chapter twenty-two, not so good.

Yet another document gets riddled with my research of time and setting. I don't like having to surf while I'm writing, it breaks my flow.

I keep all of those documents open as I write. I flesh out the chapter descriptions as I write the chapter and add characters as they pop up in the story. I don't like being forced into a story in any one way so my chapter descriptions in the beginning are vague suggestions.

I have folders inside a main folder for each book AND each distribution channel. Inside each distribution channel folder, I have a copy formatted to their standards and a copy of the book cover formatted for them as well.

Example:

Desktop>Books and Writings>Abigale>Cover Designs
Desktop>Books and Writings>Smashwords>Abigale>Converted
Desktop>Books and Writings>Yassa>Rewrite

I can see, at a glance, where each version is located and where my original files are as opposed to reworks/rewrites.

It works for me.

If you haven't checked out Yassa yet, do it already! What are you waiting for? If you love kid's books, go grab a copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book One! Book two is coming out in July so you better get a move on. Visit this page on my blog for all links and a brief synopsis of each book.

That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

16 comments:

  1. Hey! This flow actually makes sense to me! I like it! In fact, I think I will try it! You rock, girl!

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    1. *blushing* I try. Thanks for the blog luv :)

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  2. You are so organized! I'm impressed! Unfortunately, I am far from organized when it comes to my writing.

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    1. Am I? I feel like I'm not. Maybe I am...

      Thank you for the blog love!!

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    1. My hat is getting tight on my head... :) Thanks for the blog luv :)

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  4. Very impressive.....we need a coffee before my next book! X

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    1. Yes we do!! I'm hoping to make it to the next conference call. We'll see what life throws at me between now and then :)

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  5. I love your organization! Some great trips here. I write by the seat of my pants/inspiration quite a bit, which is so unlike how I run the rest of my life. I need to incorporate some of this. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Tia! Everyone is so different. We each have to find a way that works for US, you know? Thanks for the comment, I hope you find your way :)

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  6. I need to lay down at the mere thought of being that organised, with folders for everything. Love learning how others do it, i get great ideas stored away for when i need them. Thanks for the insight into your world.

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    1. You're welcome, Jenni!! It's really not a daunting process if you do it from the start. Thanks for the comment :)

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  7. Definitely got a kick out of the title, Jo Michaels (as well as the entire post). Good stuff.

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    1. I have my funky days... :) Thanks for the blog love, Sahm!

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  8. My control freakishness could totally get into your way of organizing!

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    1. I would hope so. My OCD is a problem everywhere else but seems to come in handy for this :) Thanks for the comment, Ellie!

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