Climbing mountains and sliding down the other side

I’ve reached the tipping point in the book I’m working on now

I don’t outline before I start, I make some notes and start writing. Sometimes random scenes, sometimes the first few chapters in order. When I get to around a hundred pages, I may have an idea of where the book is going, but I don’t know how it’s going to get there and I’ve run out of scenes or chapters. Not much left in my head. So I start finding excuses not to write. Too many students, too many classes, too much demand from my private life.

That’s when I know I have to go into phase two: go through those hundred pages and write a paragraph for each scene or chapter. Voila! An outline of sorts. Followed by more excuses and even less in my head.

This book is the sequel to the novel formerly known as Blackjack—book two of what is to be the Blackjack trilogy. The first book is now called Torch Song. I think this one is called Envoy. Don’t ask what the third one’s named. I have no idea.

When I run out of excuses, I read this initial outline and begin to see what’s missing. Besides a middle and an end, that is. Chunks of information and transition, foreshadowing. Clues and cogitation. That’s when a couple more chapters appear, and more holes to fill begin to chatter at me.

This is, as I said, the tipping point. Because this is where the book begins to take shape. It climbs mountains and slides down the other side. The characters discover new problems or new solutions. New loves and new reasons for vengeance.

I‘m at the stage where it’s chunks of information. Wish me luck.

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. Shelley, I’m not an outliner either. I think of myself as starting on a trip. I know I’m going to a certain state, say Ohio. At some point I have to decide whether my destination is Cincinnati or Cleveland. Funny thing, though, I may end up in Columbus or Youngstown.

  2. I have a similar process, Shelley. Somewhere in the middle of the book I do a timeline to figure out where I’ve been and that really helps me get to where I’m going.

  3. Sounds a lot like my process, except I have two tipping points;)

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