I completed a writing landmark last night and woke on this blustery morning ready to celebrate. Look who came to the party, bringing a rainbow of promise.
If I have seemed absent these last few weeks, it’s because I have been immersed in creating a comprehensive outline for my next book. This will be the third in my second trilogy set in the ancient world over 3,000 years ago. The story brings together many threads from the first five, so it hasn’t been a simple project. But rewarding.
There seem to be two camps of writers, those who work from outlines and those who shun them. I’m an outline author because I can’t imagine pulling all that information together and holding it in my mind throughout such a complex story. It’s a guide, not set in stone. But when I do venture off track, letting my imagination veer, I often find myself lost in useless dead ends.
I actually enjoy the outline because that’s where I tell the story from beginning to end in simple language. Once I start the actual writing of the rough draft I will show the story. The draft is the most thrilling part because I live the story then. That said, I have been known to shed a tear even when writing or reading the outline. Many scenes have already come to me by that time, especially when my muse has been generous–and she has been on this one. So I have experienced those scenes as they’ve come to me, and they touch me again when I copy them from the notes.
The elk arrived early for my celebration, seen here just off my front porch. And they stayed late.
Along with the work on the new project I’ve also been promoting my Oregon pioneer stories that are already in print–A Place of Her Own and The Shifting Winds. I’m continuing to do speaking appearances around the area, the next in Newport, Oregon, on the coast. A lovely setting. That’s next Sunday, the 26th (details on the sidebar at right).
It’s even rumored that I’ll have a short appearance on local TV. More on that later. Now to a short break, if I can quiet my mind.
The rainbow formed a complete arc and lasted more than an hour. I don’t remember ever seeing one last so long. I want to embrace its promise and the power resonating from the magnificent creatures who share my world.
This is beautiful, Janet. Me, I don’t do outlines. When I complete an outline, I feel as if I have already written the story and don’t have the energy to go back and write. But you’re dealing with a lot of material, so it makes sense. I look forward to seeing you here in Newport next weekend. I hope you don’t mind if I share this on our Willamette Writers Facebook page.
Sue, I’m delighted to have you share this on your WW Facebook page. I know what you mean about feeling like you’ve written the story already. I had a very thorough outline for the third book in the first trilogy because my muse had been working overtime, and I was afraid I wouldn’t get into the story with the draft,the way I’d always done. But at one point when I picked up a line from the outline and tears were pouring down my cheeks I decided I was into it enough. See you soon. 🙂