January 21st, 2014

crossed heart

the magic of a functioning outline and other things

Originally published at Cassie Alexander. You can comment here or there.

Okay, technically I should be writing right now, but I am chirpy and needs must chirp!

A) I have a fantastic outline for my new YA project that I am writing like gangbusters on. I have a voice recorder app that I use in my car on my commute to keep track of good ideas, and what’s nice about that is that later on when i transcribe those notes, frequently they trigger other awesome ideas themselves. So over the course of about two hours here, 40 mins in tape to listen to, and 2,000 words of writing +/- another few hundred on a piece of cardboard that I’m using for my visual outline right now….I think I know pretty much everything that’s going to happen left in this book.

You know how in Shapeshifted at the end characters reach a point of no return and everything escalated out the wazoo? (Or in really all of my books, because that’s sort of my thing?) Yeah. I think I have about 10-15k of slow dread and then 20k of OMG WHIZBANG coming up. Since I’m at 35k so far  already, that is perfect! :D

B) It looks like I’m going to get to go to another shift at work! Not that I don’t love nightshift, because I do, the people are the best ever hands down. But after six years of this, my body is shot, it needs some daylight. I didn’t even put on sunscreen for the past two days because I thought, “You know what? I need to make some vitamin D.” I’m so ready for a regular schedule, for daylight, for gym, and especially for writing. I’ll holler when this actually happens, and I’m not sure if I’ll be on days or PMs yet, but it is happening, and that’s the important thing I’m looking forward to :D.

C) I was editing a short story for a theme magazine call, when I realized I was doing it all wrong — in a really upper level way, worth mentioning so I don’t forget having done it later. I kept the actual action of a scene but kept bending around the emotions and the metaphors and the meanings…and I was writing really good stuff. I’d change one thing, and it was good — and then I’d change it in an entirely other way, and it was still good. I found it odd that that was possible, and I couldn’t figure out why that was, until I realized it was because I didn’t know what the story’s theme was anymore. It was a three year old story, and while when I’d written it it was the best I could do at the time, it needed touch ups…but I wasn’t quite sure what I was trying to say with it anymore. And without that pillar of reason to may-pole the words around, it didn’t matter how I made changes in the text. Of course everything was decent — I’m a pretty good writer now. But none of it was perfect or felt right, because the story itself was hollow.

After I realized that, i went back to the YA anyhow, since I’m madly in love with it (if you couldn’t tell.) But it was a wise thing to figure out, and hopefully I’ll both figure out how to fix that story in the future, and be able to realize more quickly when I’m doing that to myself again.