I finished K.M. Weiland’s book “Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way To Success” last week and have already been putting the lessons learned into practice. I have to say that the early stages of outlining have unleashed a torrent of creativity that I wouldn’t have thought possible. I owe a lot to a very simple question:
I wrote that question on the top of a notebook page and let my imagination run wild. This very simple two-word question unveiled plot twists, character flaws and relationships, fun intersections with the antagonist, among a host of other creative gems. While there are certainly some outright silly issues that never will see the light of day, I’m positive that this exercise will yield a more intricate story with gripping characters (and I hope my readers will find that to be true as well).
I’ve moved on to putting together scenes and finding that it’s much easier to think about subplots and where I can lay down a little foreshadowing in just the right place. While I have done some basic character sketches I plan on doing some character interviews to really seal the deal. By the end of the outlining process (that I am tweaking in ways that work for me) I should be freed to just write without worrying about what comes next.
Reading Weiland’s book and applying some of the outlining techniques has already paid off. I’m excited about my WIP and hopefully will be writing a stronger, more entertaining novel.
Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.