Monday, May 23, 2011
Ah-Ha Outline Moment
So, I decided that I needed a new outline for my Midnight Raynne WIP, but also that the current form of outline was not going to cut it. For my first round of editing I created a spreadsheet and focused on tightening up the plot. For my second round of editing I created another spreadsheet that dealt with characters. For my third and forth edits I just went back through manually looking for things, no outlines or spreadsheets. Then my fifth edit really only consisted of adding a new chapter. This is round six, but looking back I see that it could have only been round four, maybe.
That is if I had only created THE OUTLINE first. I'm not using the spreadsheet outline anymore. Instead I've opened a word file and started it out as an actual outline. Each chapter is a separate point. Within each chapter I take a look at plot, character, setting, and pacing/conflict. Then I break each one of those points down even more depending on the characters involved, the plot, and so on. It's been a very tedious job so far. I'm only about a third of the way through my WIP and I still have a long ways to go.
So what is so different this time?
Well, I seem to be learning so much more about the world I'm writing, the characters, and the plot. Before I thought I had good characters and a good plot. I had an idea of what each character thought, but I realize now that I didn't really. I've started looking at each character in depth and in the outline I write what they are thinking, doing, their motives for what they are up to in that particular chapter.
As a result a few characters who were side characters and only brushed on will become even more pronounced in this new round of edits. Character's who I thought I had sketched out well enough will have even more depth to them. Of course, I hope I can write them as well as I now picture them. It's like they are living breathing people, in my head.
No, I'm not insane, just a writer.
Your Turn -> Have you ever realized that you were doing something wrong with your editing process?