Okay, so getting back to this whole “How I write a book” series.
Lessee, I’ve blogged about the thinking and the “moments” and the research and the imaginary casting call for my characters. Once I’ve let all that ferment for a while, I usually sit down and outline.
Well, sort of. This would not be a formal-looking outline, with neat indents and A’s and IV’s and etc. This would not even be a scene-by-scene outline. It’s more like, I sit down with my laptop and just spew out all the notes and scenes and dialog that have been coalescing in my brain, in somewhat sequential fashion. Some bits will be very fleshed out, with whole chunks of inner motivations and dialogue. In other parts, I’ll have something like “they encounter difficulties”–meaning, the difficulty will be mine when I reach that section and must figure out what the heck should happen.
I begin at the beginning, and I work to the end. The end result is messy and uneven, but this is the stage where it starts to all come together as a story. And to swipe the motto of one of my soon-to-be publishers, “It’s all about the story.”
I have writer friends who swear by storyboards, post-its, index cards, spreadsheets, and the like. I’ve tried them all. I’ve learned this: I am allergic to squares. Trying to fit a story into a series of boxes…erg, it makes me break out in hives. To me, a story is linear. It … Read More »