How to make peace with outlining your novel?

Thing is: it is sooooooooooooooo slow. Getting it right takes time. Loads of it.

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This current work in progress is a challenge.

I chose to get outside my comfort story zone, in order to better my writing process.

And boy, do I hope all that hard work will improve things.

The Rejected Novel

I am currently working on the 5th outline. Yep, I wrote five outlines for this novel. I used to hate that writing process.

Now, I made peace with it. Mostly because my last finished novel was, again, rejected.


You guessed it: I did not outline the rejected novel.

Re-reading the rejected novel, which I wrote a year ago, I understand why it got rejected. It misses some chore action beats, there are 4 chapters that don’t belong there and the main character is very problematic.

The Power of the Outline

I want to do everything in my power to get my current work in progress somewhere. It is a fun idea, a chilling mystery for middle-graders I am having so much fun to write.

Well, almost…

In order to nail every details, to embrace every beat on the freaking sheet, I am going out of my usual writing ways.

It is very thought BUT the story improved so much from the first outline to the present 5th outline, characters and plot-wise anyway.

On the writing side, sentences are more to the point, more active.

Thing is: it is sooooooooooooooo slow. Getting it right takes time. Loads of it.

Thing also is: it feels like I am working on a school essay.

This 5th super detailed outline I am currently working on, based on many outlining techniques (links down below), is more to make extra sure I got everything right. According to all those « helping writers » blog post I read anyway.

Making peace with outlining

Forcing myself into an novel outlining process was very humbling.

I happen to be a content writer, and I know a thing or two about the gig, to say the least.

When I put my stories thought a set outline or a beat sheet, I can see the weakness’s way more clearly. I know what to change, how to tweak this, why it is so important to delete those 10 000 words (*sigh*).

I came up with my own outline structure at the end, very much based on my favorite outlining methods:

Katytastic has been on the YouTube and Blog Univers for a while. That method is very inspiring.

Savannah Gilbo is presenting the famous Save the Cat beat sheet for novels. Keep in mind thought, Save the Cat is for screenplays!

I found it very interesting to put through my story to this  »How to plot a Novel » method by Bryn Donovan.

I hope this helps a little.

Until next time!

Auteur : Marie Alice

Writing away and reading books. Joy! Écrire à tout vent et lire des romans. Joie!

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