An Update to My Writing Process
I begin writing my writing process by creating an outline. My last two books began with an outline and the resulting work read a lot better. I am almost ready to start book number six, Cable Pairs the sequel to Cable Ties and I have an outline ready to go. However, as I looked through it, I discovered issues.
It is difficult to pin down the specific problem. Overall, the core concept is not strong, the flow is muddy and I fear the readers will become disinterested. With those flaws in mind, I have decided to add a step to my writing process. I am creating an outline-outline.
My concept is to take my present outline and summarize each central element into a sentence. I will then be able to visualize the basic plot. From there I am going to alter the elements to create a solid foundation then update the main outline.
I now see that I should have started out with this step. One might think this reversal is a giant step backwards. However, that is the beauty of an outline. I have yet to commit to hundreds of hours of work into a flawed plot.
As I wrote this blog, I created my first outline-outline and the problems stood out. The central plot lacked a solid theme. I had only strung together subplots and character biographies.
To fix my mess, I trimmed my outline-outline to eliminate a few sub plots. The result looked disconnected. Gahhh. Try again. I wrote out my elements on a white board and drew lines between them. Gahhh. Still a mess. I put the elements into colored blocks using Visio. I then vertically arranged the elements. I then interwove the blocks and created new elements to form a timeline that resolved a central plot.
With this Visio tool, my plot started to look more intriguing. I then printed an 11x17 copy, added notes, drew lines and updated the Visio drawing. Unfortunately, this effort eliminated a cherished sub plot. Oh well.
I am now updating the original outline and I can see the story is much more appealing. Some new ground might be broken in the spy novel world. It’s good to learn something new.
You’re the best -Bill
August 07 2019
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