Monday, March 14, 2005

I have been working on the fantasy novel I was commissioned to write, using an outline that they approved first, and a plot diagram. About 10,000 words so far, and feeling OK about it.
I regularly read Jane Yolen's journal, and the latest post has some very interesting comments about revision, which she has been asked about several times on her most recent tour.
I thought this was interesting as we seem to have been talking a lot in my Novel 2 class lately about rewriting and fixing things, and whether outlines help. It also came up in short story 2 class last week. They wanted to know if it was worth outlining a short story, and what I did. I had to admit that mostly I don't outline short stories, but that I often don't write a story until I have thought it out in my head and know what will happen.
I think that I have changed my writing methods over the past 2 years, mainly because I have been forced to write outlines for a couple of things (and worked out what doesn't work in outlining for me), then I did that sample for the book packager from their outline, then I tried out the stuff in the Elizabeth George book.
It's all helped. I feel now that if I do an outline that satisfies me, create it as a plot diagram (as EG does, kind of) then the writing works so much better structurally (and hopefully in other ways) that the revision part of it works better too. Not so much of the huge mass of words with no idea how to fix it except start again.
And now I also feel that I don't have the time or the energy to spend months trying to work out how to fix something. If I do the preparation stuff right, I tend to get the rest of it working better.
Anyway, just a few thoughts on this quiet Monday!!

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