As some of you closest to me know, it has long been a dream of mine to be a successful and published writer. When I was younger, in my early teenage years, my best friend and I used to sit around writing stories about us and our favorite boy bands at the time. For the duration of those years I had fun and just thought that if I wrote about myself falling in love with Justin Timberlake – that the words would come to life! Now that I am nearly thirty years old I realize that it was way more than just a dream to build a family with the major pop singer of my days. It was an early born dream to write; to bring my fantasies and stories to life through my words. I am so excited to say that I am finally making this dream a priority and the past couple of weeks I have been working hardcore on planning and outlining a great story! I am super confident in my ideas this time and can’t wait to share the finished product with all of you. However, that isn’t what this blog is about.
In fact, this blog is about what a pain in the ass it is to plan and outline an entire novel!! I spent an entire week researching before getting started. I wanted to make sure that I had all the tools that I needed, to help me succeed at this. I found some wonderful information from sources from all over as well as life-changing tips from some of my favorite authors. I must say, I am putting it all to good use, that’s for sure! Even with all these tools – writing isn’t easy. It’s work. HARD work! One of the best tools that I obtained through my research and communication with Jenna Moreci, was her way of outlining. At first I was like “Eh, I’ll give it a try but outlining is SO hard and I haven’t been successful at it in the past”. Of course she said that I would say that 😉 So the way she outlines is by taking note cards and cutting them into strips. I cut four strips out of each note card and it worked out great. Then she uses different colors of marker to write out plots and subplots on the strips so that she can then arrange and organize them in the order she wants – and assign them Chapters. I will be re-doing mine because I don’t like the way that I color coded things BUT, here is what I have so far with mine:
I have merely just begun this process and while I really struggled with it for the first thirty minutes or so – it really is pure awesomeness once you get the hang of it. The idea is not only to be able to see the entire story laid out in front of you, but you can also clearly see the holes that need filled in and where things need to be switched around. It may seem like a lot of work to some people, but honestly – I couldn’t imagine a more productive way to outline an entire story. Not only are you outlining, but you are building your storyline as you go.
I am currently at work with my home healthcare client and have my outline spread out on his table which basically means that I only have until 9pm (approximately four more hours) to complete this AND THEN type it up into an actual outline on my computer. The next step will be creating a second outline that includes more detail about each plot, subplot, and for me I am also including major storyline content such as “Emergency room scene” and “Diagnosing process” to my outline. I am thrilled to be making so much progress on this. Over the years I have worked here and there on story ideas that have come to me, freelancing my way through, until I hit a roadblock. Then I would struggle for weeks on where to take the story next until I would finally just pitch the entire thing. I’m not doing that this time and it feel so good to know that I have a real chance to complete an actual novel!
With that said, time is of essence today so I must go! I will keep you guys updated on my progress as the opportunity arises.
Until next time!