Friday, May 29, 2009

Staying Inside The Lines

Untouched is at 69K! I have been writing like mad these last few days. Making up for lost time, I suppose. I'm just trying to get the story out of me-- free it from the shell that is my mind, and let it loose on paper. Or, rather, a computer word processor. But whatever- it's the paper of the 21st century.

I've had the outlines written up for weeks. See, I don't usually write detailed outlines, usually it's something like:

CH. 1- Gwen is dying in hospital, Glory comes to collect her soul, Gwen convinces Glory to give her a second chance.

CH. 2- Gwen gets second chance, Glory explains rules and restrictions.

Then I make up the rest as I go along. And it worked, quite well, in the beginning. But then the story progressed, and more had to happen, and everything was more complex. So my outlines became more detailed. Instead of one line of text per chapter, it was one line of text per (estimated) page of typed ms text.

CH. 12
1. Falling down, worry, James' voice- surprise, Dante caught Gwen
2. Dante intro'd, who is the boy? How does he know?
3. Explains, guilty, jealousy, 'You would have let her fall?'

Etc, etc.

But now, for the final three chapters, everything is far more complicated. Now my outline reads like a script; a short hand, scrawling, script.

A- Take Gwen back to the world, stay close Dante
G- mutter, I don't want Dante close
Am- raises eyebrow and looks @ A
A- surprised, Interesting, is she aware?
Am- lowers gaze
A- Hm, how odd...
D- Come on, G, let's go
D&G leave room, walking in hall

Etc, etc.

Writing up these outlines takes more time, but writing takes less time, because I consult my script, see what needs to happen next, then quickly write it down in the best long hand prose I can muster up that moment.

What I'm creating now is the skeleton. I know these last chapters will need a lot of attention after I finish, but I'm getting the base, the shell of the story recorded, and right now that is the most important thing for me to do.

I can fix the broken text, I can smooth over the lumpy transitions. But if I don't have anything written down, I have nothing to work with.

I expect to be done with the first draft of Untouched within the week. Exciting!!!

Then I'll take a week to polish it up and fix any holes.

Then I'll need a couple willing victims... er, I mean volunteers.


Cheers, Kat


  1. "If I don't have anything written down, I have nothing to work with."

    EXACTLY. That is what I keep telling myself--or at least, what I keep trying to tell myself as I hurdle over the terrible last third of my book.

  2. Wow!! Looks like it's shaping up fantastically!

  3. Kat,
    I'm excited for you! Keep up the good work. What you said about outlining is exactly what I experienced with my book. I didn't start with an outline, but I did use one later to organize my vomit draft. As it got to the end, my neat little bullet points weren't so neat anymore. I had to end up using color coding, a new level or organization that my cluttered mind rarely puts up with. :P

  4. Wow, sounds like you are in the zone. I don't do detailed outlines either, but I do a sentence or two to remember the general focus of a chapter.

  5. 69K! That's great! I'm a plotter, so my outlines are pretty detailed.

    Lynnette Labelle

  6. Way to go. I thought you were running out of steam for a while. I'm jealous. If I hurry, I'll finish one of my WIP's this time next year.