We all like to feel like our own way is best, especially in creative endeavors. Sometimes, though, we have to step away from what works for us and try something new. Vessel's first two books were written with very little outlining, relying mostly on character-driven plot development (#JesseTakeTheWheel) and how well I know my own story. At a certain point, I started to shy away from the very notion of outlining, even when it seemed like a good idea, fearful that it would upset my thinky-feely but reliably dope process, or even change the way my writing sounds. But as the Vessel universe's scope increases toward the fifth book, it became necessary for me to stop in the middle of writing Book III and outline it in detail from start to finish, as well as take a page from J.K. Rowling and create a timeline for the entire series. I finished Book III's outline TONIGHT. Holes have been filled, vague details clarified, and while some writing and editing still remains, there is definitely a cohesive book at the end of the tunnel now, and not the swiss-cheese shaped story I've been grappling with for months. Hallelujah!
|I am your despair!|
From me to you: Don't be afraid to explore a new approach, no matter how far you've come already using your own system. It's never too late, and you've got nothing to lose. At best, your work will improve. At worst, the new thing won't work for you, and you can return to the comfort of your old familiar ways!
My old familiar ways? Doodling in the margins 4EVER. Works for outlines, too!