Wednesday, January 2, 2013

IWSG - Jan Post #10

It's IWSG time! Its purpose is to encourage each other and share things that we're dealing with in our writing ventures, whether they be joys or struggles.
Alex J. Cavanaughthe ninja host, states it best... IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. 
To join, click on the pic below for deets and post on your blog the first Wed of every month.




I've sent out my first batch of queries and entered a couple of contests. So far, I've received a rejection from one query and a full manuscript request from a contest entry. Yay! Fingers crossed for me, folks, please. I'm so nervous. I've been down this road before, and it's scary as hell, but a good kind of scary. Healthy, even.

In the meantime, I'm reading one of my CP's new stuff. (I'm diggin' your story, Laura! Amazing as usual!) 
And I'm outlining....er, I mean, attempting to outline a new WIP. Outlining.... my nemesis. You see, I'm a panster/pantser who works with a small outline. For me, it worked before, but with this last MS, the small outline made things harder. 
So, for my current project, I've decided I need more structure, more direction, before I start to write this story that's brewing in my brain. I really, really want to work with a strong outline. It will save me loads of time in the future.
Do you have any advice on outlining that has helped or not helped you? I'd appreciate any input. 

Thanks in advance! Have a wonderful day!

~Happy writing!

38 comments:

  1. It's scary isn't it? I'm about to start a round of submissions so can relate to your feelings here! I don't know I can offer a lot of advice as I tend to be a panster when writing although I am trying with my new WIP to have more direction before I start. I have made some character profiles, hoping that my help me!

    Good luck sounds like we have much in common :)

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    1. You're right. It does sound like we have much in common!
      Good luck with your round of subs! Character profiles- great idea!

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  2. Good luck with those queries!

    I gotta say, trying to outline has never ever helped me, so the best way for you to get the job done is to work in a way that suits you!

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    1. Thanks, Kyra!

      I don't know what suits me. LOL I need to figure that out, huh? :)

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  3. Congrats on the full!!!! Got to live up those successes :)
    I'll cross my fingers for you. And as for the outlining... I personally have a hard time working it out on paper/computer. I work the story out in my head first and then write a couple page synopsis. That's my outline.

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    1. Thanks so much!

      I work out the story in my head, too, but I will for sure try writing a synopsis before doing the writing. Maybe that will help!

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  4. My first attempt at writing was pantser, and I'm with you: the next time around will be a little more structured. But I know everyone has to find their own method. Best to you in the coming year.

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    1. Thanks, Julie. Best to you in 2013, too!

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  5. My advice is do whatever works for you. I use a numbered list and describe each scene without too much detail - whatever I need to remember in case I put it down for a month or two. Just few sentences for each scene or maybe a paragraph.

    I keep a printed copy with the copy of my manuscript and mostly only go back to it if I'm stuck or if I need to just focus on one scene. Good luck!

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    1. I'm really liking the numbered list idea. Thanks!

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  6. Great news on the request!
    I play the entire story out in my head and then go back and write down the highlights. I keep going over it, adding more details. Not the most precise outline form, but it works for me.

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    1. Thanks, Alex!

      That sounds like a great idea-- writing down the highlights, then adding more details as I go. Thanks!

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  7. I did a reasonable job of outlining, I guess - although I then changed a bunch of things :)
    What I wished I had done better was keeping track of minor characters, including their names, jobs, hair color etc. You might want to make a sheet for them, so you don't end up with a Tina, a Rena and a Sheena... And I also wished my outlining had included a high-level scene list, so I could easily locate what happened when and where, and see whether sub-plots had been paced appropriately.

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    1. Keeping better track of minor characters is a good idea! And sometimes, I end up cutting them out or combining them into one person because I'll have too many minors going on. :)

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  8. Congratulations on the request!

    I write very organically, though sometimes I use a rough outline and notes. I frequently memorize entire books and storylines in my head for years before I'm able to write them down, and sometimes things change by the time I'm finally writing the book. Not having an exact outline helps in that organic evolution of books and storylines, since they can go in all sorts of unexpected directions.

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    1. Thanks so much!

      Yeah, having an outline with room for change is up my alley. :)

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  9. i wish you the very best!!---i am afraid i would be of no help whatsoever on outlining---i'm all over the place with my writing these days :)

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  10. Good luck with the outlining—and congrats on the request!

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  11. Ohmigosh, congrats on your contest win/MS request!!! I'm crossing all the relevant bits for you! :-D

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    1. Thanks, Mina girl. I didn't get picked for the contest, but an editor asked for my work anyway. Keep those fingers crossed! :) And I'll shoot you an email explaining it all.

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  12. Congratulations on getting the full request! That is awesome. I wish I could give you some advice but I've never been down this road, and I hate outlining, lol! But you sound like you're doing everything right, I should be asking you questions and picking your brain....hummmm... (;

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    1. Thanks, Elise! And LOL... I don't feel like I'm doing anything right, but hope I can nail down an outline. :)

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  13. Congratulations on the full request! That's fantastic! I'd love to give you some advice, but outlining has never been my strength. I'm trying to teach myself to do a better job of it, but my pantser tendencies usually win out!

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    1. Thanks! And darn those panster tendencies! :)

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  14. Fingers crossed for your queries! I tend to be really decent at making outlines when I first start a new WIP, and then I start winging it. :)

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  15. Yay! Congrats on the success! That means you're doing it right... And I'm soooo not an outliner... so I don't have good advice there... :-)

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  16. sounds like a great beginning for 2013! good luck!

    as for outlining...i must plot or i will lose my way...here is how i do it and it has been successful so far for me
    start with an idea & mc, then choose a beginning & an end, whats the goal? then add characters & develop back story for reference. now the outline! rough! dont worry about specifics, bullet point ideas of scenes, things that could happen, choices, calamities, someone needs to die or leave suddenly at some point, a fight or break up, a tryst, etc. after you have a bunch of scenes, then you can arrange them like a puzzle for a more solid outline and add connecting pieces as needed. even then, when you start writing, new ideas may change your direction. nothing is written in stone anymore! even pen can be liquified! ha!

    anyway, thats my method...good luck! you'll do great!

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    1. Holy cow, Tara! This is awesome! Thank you so much. I will for sure try this.

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  17. That's awesome that you got a full manuscript request via a contest. Awesome. Congrats!!

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  18. Congrats and good luck on the full MS request!

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  19. It is scary but look at the success you're already having!!! Good for you. Good luck!
    Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Kelley! Happy New Year to you, too!

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