King of Swords

I spent part of tonight's session writing up an outline. I didn't use an outline for my first few books, but since my publishers started requiring them, I've become rather dependent on figuring these things out in advance. I'm rather pleased with the plot I've outlined - I think it'll be a lot of fun, and the characters are starting to take shape. I'm less confident in my worldbuilding - I keep trying to fall into my other space universe, and this needs to be standalone.

I'm not sure if I have enough plot to make a full-length novel. My fiction usually grows about one-third longer in second draft, but I think I definitely need another complication to make this a novel-length piece. One day I'm going to learn to write fiction in one draft with edits, rather than writing everything twice. No wonder I can only do a book a year.

Still, I'm enjoying this one pretty well. I think it'll be a lot of fun, and I hope the readers will like it too. It's a nice break from last year, too - I get to swear and shoot again. I'm still not sure if the title/theme is what I want, but we'll see...


  1. Required? Outline? :trembles and cries in fear:

    I can't write like that. I've tried. It comes out awful.

  2. For your first few books, did you make an outline afterward, to send to them?

    I can't write without an outline, but my outlines don't look anything like the outlines I had to do in school. They tend to be linear ... this happens, then this happens, then this, and then that happened (flashback) ... until I get to the end. That means I'm only telling one thread of the story, so I have to go back and write the rest from scratch. And here's one reason you are published and I am not. Even though I know generally what needs to happen, I can't quite figure out how to tell that other thread (actually 2 other threads for the novel I'm thinking about).

  3. Tongfengdemao: I never used an outline until they made me. When they started making me, I wrote the book first and then wrote an outline to send to them. Then I had to start doing outlines in advance if I wanted the contract. As my work has matured and gotten more complex, I've come to rely on outlines to help me work out the big stuff in advance. But my outlines are generally less than a page, and yes, it changes a LOT in the first draft and even more in the second draft.

    My advice to you would be to look at the other threads and see if they really need to be there. If you're telling one whole, complete story in one thread, why is the rest necessary? Your story should come together organically and all the threads should tie together in the end. If that's not happening, I'd question whether the rest is really necessary, or whether it needs to be altered so it's tied into the main story in a more significant manner.

    And that's the best I can come up with at nine minutes shy of midnight. :) Good luck!


Post a Comment