After my unsuccessful attempts at writing a worthy sequel to Elegy earlier this year, I took November off to work on a science fiction NaNo project and sort of clear my head. During that time, it became clear to me – for a number of reasons – that in order to be successful this time, I was going to have to do some outlining.
Normally, I do not outline. I just start with an idea and see where the story carries me. However, after spending nearly 75,000 words chasing an idea that simply didn’t pan out, I realized that another effort of similar magnitude that went nowhere was going to put me off writing for a long time.
Outlining is a strange beast, but I found that Scrivener is really helping me to keep everything in order. I have a folder which is full of nothing but short scene lines on the “index cards” on the corkboard, with short names that remind me what they are. They’re in the order I decided on, and they’re really only brief highlights of plot points. The story itself is expanding between them – I’m right now writing a sub-plot that was nowhere on my outline, but will serve to both get the story rolling and provide an obstacle right off the bat.
If I’m not too much mistaken, this version of Arbiter Codex 2 is going to be long. I’m standing at 7600 words in two and a half chapters, I’m excited about the plot that I’ve devised, and there’s still a lot of highlights left to go. Like… almost all of them.
My intent is to get it right this time. It’s going to take longer than I expected, but it’s going to be good, and I’m going to be proud of it at the end. That’s the goal, and I’m really looking forward to sharing it with everyone when it’s completed.
Who knows… maybe now that I’ve figured out an outlining process that actually seems to work for me, I’ll get more reliable output! That would sure be nice.
On a side note, I am now reading Once We Were Like Wolves by M. Todd Gallowglas, and there will be a review up once I’ve finished it!