Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Moving Right Along

I outlined 4 more chapters on the new novel, so I'm now through Chapter 16. On my first novel, I just sat down and wrote.... or it wrote itself... and when I had plot points, I kept them in a separate Word document, which I annotated liberally.

This book is different. I'm being strict about the outline. It's helping because it's not just a bunch of notes on the plot (surprise, surprise). The outline actually requires chapter by chapter discipline, so it's a real blueprint rather than a line drawing.

The outline is also very helpful because it exposes exactly which parts I need to research. The old novel's plot points doc was such a work in progress that I jumped around and researched points as I wrote them into the plot points document, rather than as I wrote them into the story. Made for a lot of duplicative research.

The bad news on the outline: Chapters 13-16 took almost three times as long to outline as chapters 1-12 did. I suspect that this will get more difficult as the book progresses, but I'm still very, very glad it's moving. I have a very strong, tough female character to go head to head with the tough, strong male character.

I'll be a little presumptuous and say Nick Alicino would have been proud. He'd have loved the book I'm envisioning. It's dark, but has a lot of humor in it. He thought my first book was terrific. He was my first real editor, and... well... let's leave that all for another day. Nick would have loved this one, and I wish he could have helped me lay it out a little.

The Saint I married may have to get involved soon. She's a terrific editor, too.

I suspect that the actual writing will be an easier task on this book than on the first. I mean, I've already written one, so I've learned from the mistakes I made on that book. Plus, I have more of a concrete idea where I'm going with this one. The first one wrote itself, plot and all. This one may still write itself, but it'll write itself inside the framework I erect around it.


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