I think I’ve blogged before about outlining my first book, The Groom Wore Blue Suede Shoes. I took twelve sheets of typing paper and each signified a chapter. Then I recorded everything I wanted to happen in each chapter. That book was published by Silhouette Romance and I never, ever outlined a book again. And I never sold another book either. I’ve written (or tried to write) six or eight books since then–but only completed three. And believe me when I say a couple of those completed books have plot holes that would swallow a publishing house.
So here’s the deal: OUTLINE! If you’re having problems completing a project, or creating scenes that happen in a logical way or spotting holes and inconsistencies, try OUTLINING!
My latest project–a 25,000+ word novella–is outlined in detail. Granted, I was so incredibly inspired by the premise of this story that I had no trouble writing a detailed synopsis–nine pages. Then I turned those nine pages into a detailed outline. Ten chapters. The words are flowing. I write each day. I know where I’m going. And my outline doesn’t mean I’m locked into anything. In fact, chapters one and two were combined immediately and I’m a little surprised at a couple of scenes that weren’t planned. Don’t feel as thought your hands are tied or your creativity stifled, things can and will change as the characters evolve and reveal themselves. I’m excited because nothing is slowing me down. I love my characters and they love me. I think they love me because I outlined and got to know them a little before I slapped them in their respective scenes and chapters.