Friday, March 18, 2011

Outlining your novel

I read that a breakout novel can’t be written in a weekend. For most, it takes three to five years to write. I disagree with that. The three to five years part that is. I agree with the weekend. I start my process by writing out maybe forty to fifty sentences. Each one represents a chapter. Some I expand into a few sentences others I leave the headline alone. It’s a plan, a roadmap so I know where I’m headed. For me it’s not a detailed process. Maybe it should be. I haven’t found a book on the subject of writing outlines. Ahhh, note to self, when I’m famous and use an outline write a how to book…
            I have an author friend, David Hagberg he writes CIA terrorist stories. Hit the New York Times last year with The Expediter. Has a new book, The Abyss coming out in June. We have lunch together every few months. We like say we tip a few and laugh. I consider him my mentor. I pick his brain for these little nuggets. Like I have inside information on writing. Things like outlining. He has written over eighty books. I’ve written four. He writes a detailed outline, he even knows the end before he begins. Mine is sketchy at best, never know the end. It discovers me. I think I’m impatient. I want to write the book not plan to write it. But I’ve logged this into my to do’s. Work on creating a detailed plan before writing the breakout novel. Maybe the next book I’ll build a better plan. Let me highlight that so I can come back and read this at a later time, kinda remind myself of something I must work on.

Create detailed plan before starting the writing process.
            The basics:
            What’s the location for the novel?
            Who is the main character?
            What is the main driver to the story?
            What does the main character want?

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