New WIP: Epic Outlining

While I’ve been editing, and just recently started to query, Essence, I’ve been brainstorming and trying a new way of outlining for my next project.

For those of you who I haven’t droned endlessly on about my writing process to, sit yourself right down and let me tell you a story. Okay, it’s less a story and more a realization I made a few years ago. I wanted so badly to be a discovery writer. I would start writing, loving every word and every idea, then without fail at around 20-25K I would stop and realize that I had no idea where the story was going. I’d try to figure it out and realized that I would have to cut at least 10K words to get back on track.

That hurt, and usually I would just trash the project instead of trying to resurrect it from plot woes.

So, I tried outlining. At first it was just getting a basic idea about where I wanted my story to go, and I’d figure out the middle and the end when I got there. Generally I have to do extensive structural rewrites on the middle and ends of my manuscripts because of this.

This project, working title Gryphon, is a fantasy of the high variety. I was really inspired by Brian Stavely’s Unhewn Throne books to dive into planning a fantasy. I love urban/contemporary fantasy, but there is something really satisfying about making up a world from scratch. Anyway, I really don’t want to run into the dreaded middle of not enough happening with this project, so I started outlining a little more aggressively than I usually do.


Yeah, that’s the first five or so chapters all planned out. 😛 BTW, if anyone wants me to do a full blog post just about how I’m doing my outlining (kind of a snowflake hybrid) let me know, I’d be happy to share.

With this new aggressive outlining, I’ve already realized how I initially had the first part of act 2 planned out was extremely boring. If I had gotten through writing it before realizing it, it would have been about a 25k rewrite of that section with what my word count goals are.

Now, I bet this project is still going to need a good deal of editing when I’m done with it. But I’m really, really, really hoping that those edits are going to be able to be more about how to improve the story that exists instead of how to fix it from being bad.

Anyway, I’m starting to write it, and depending on how school goes this summer, I’m going to try and knock out 25K on it next month for Camp Nano. Of course, I’m still working on edits for Essence, and unless I hear back positively on queries, I’ll be shooting for Pitch Wars with that one.

Wooo, all the writing.


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