I hope you are all doing well in your writing endeavors. I'm currently between projects...waiting for my editor's expertise on Book 2 of my Makai series, and challenging my creative side in brainstorming/ outlining Book 3 possibilities—which is taking more research than I thought it would!
I originally wrote all three books in this series before I started querying Book 1, just to make sure Book 1 contained all the necessary clues and information for the overall story before setting it all into stone (so-to speak), and that the overall game plan held together in writing—not just in theory. Long story short, as Book 1 became more focused and fine-tuned, I had to drop many ideas and plans that weren't immediately pertinent to Book 1, and therefore, 89.7% of the original Book 3 is no longer relevant. :-) Even so, I don't think it was wasted time. I'll just call it practice writing—100k words that the world will never see.
So now, I find myself in somewhat new territory—starting with a blank page! I actually have deadlines this time, so there will be no waiting around for inspirations or moods to strike, no taking the time to see where random ideas lead, and no savoring the candy bar scenes that will eventually be cut to keep the story on track. Because as much as I hate to admit it, this writing craft is now a business.
Time to sharpen the outlining tools, and here's my plan:
1. Basic Idea/Elevator Pitch
2. Beginning/Middle/End (one paragraph each (one for each storyline)
3. Divide Beginning/Middle/End into 10-15 Chapter Sections (One-sentence description per chapter—per storyline if necessary)
4. Expand each sentence into a paragraph. (keeping track of multiple storylines)
5. Expand each paragraph into a page—with notes/pictures for relevant research.
6. Revise Elevator Pitch with the clearer picture...and start writing the dang thing
Until now, I've been importing my working files into Scrivener from Word. So with this book, I'm interested in seeing how well Scrivener keeps things organized from start to finish. I'll let you know how it goes! I'm also going to challenge myself with the brainstorming tip: When answering the question "What would happen if...?", never pick one of the first five answers. (Eek!)
Do you have outlining tips to share?