Outline Early and Often, Especially When…

You’re one person, who has to write seven distinct voices…

So what does an outline (a plot tool) has to do with voices?

I’ll tell you!

Here it goes: AT LEAST you need to know where the dang characters are going before you can concentrate on all the other elements! AT LEAST. You’re plot should be your foundation; it holds the dialog, characterization, setting, style, etc.

I’ve actually started practicing a technique I call incremental outlining. Because it’s so easy to get ahead of yourself and outline a full story before it’s fully formed.

Listen.. and listen good…

A GOOD story slowly takes form on its own timeframe. The characters guide it, the active imaginiation does too. After all it’s their world and the imagination’s reality.

Here’s me:

So, I want to put Chex in this part, maybe he can do this or that and then she goes in there with him and this one follows and on and on… until I get an outline that just doesn’t feel right.

That’s all me.

That’s all cerebral.

And although I don’t underplay ME, after all, I carry my imagination. I feed it. Nurture it. I qualify it.

Here’s the story/imagination:

(So I’m at a part of the total outline that works) La la la… my fingers are typing.

I’m writing the actual prose.

I hit the ME part of the outline. But wait! Imagination just dropped a diamond in my brain! It’s taking me in a different direction. And I’m zapped by ELATION because where the STORY tells me to go is a million times better than where I was going. From there I cross out all that stuff I outlined a day or even two days ago and re-outline, taking the story in this new direction. But it doesn’t take me to the end of the novel, not yet but it will.

That’s how incremental outlining works!

So it’s a collaboration between me and my active imagination; I trust it more than myself. It’s a lot of work but it gets me the best story possible, especially now that I’m into book six of a series. I have to know where I’ve been, where I’m going and the best way to utilize all the components that I’ve created. The incremental outline helps me with that.

So… now that I have a technique for the plot, I can focus on the hardest part of this book and future books in this seven part series. That is, making the sisters sound distinct. Adore has never been to earth yet her father trained her in the ways of the world for this time period. She’s seeing, touching, smelling and hearing things that she already knows about for the first time. There are colloquialisms that she’s never heard so I have to make sure she doesn’t use them. As long as I have the story under my thumbs, I can focus on these major details.

So yeah, today the story took me to a fantastic place! I was writing to the outline and then BAM, this happened and BANG, this one act connected me to where I needed to go to move forward.

I gotta tell you, there’s not much better than experiencing this and I’m taking my time these days, not rushing it.

This is good.


Here’s the title of book six:

Light Speed (Parched, book 6)

Two sisters are in this book. The power of light, Adore and speed, Navi.  Today’s epiphany smoothly connected the two sisters while forwarding the plot.

It was a good day of writing. 🙂

BTW… You’re going to LOVE the twist… I can’t wait to publish this book. I can’t wait for your reactions!!!!

(I’m smiling like crazy right now just thinking about it!)