Avoid the Roadblock of Writing

Although outlining is never fun, if you want a good story it needs to be mapped out first.
Laurell K Hamilton recently said, "Outlining is a necessary evil, and a thinking tool, but never a joy for me." Most writers just want to get to the writing while the story is vivid in their mind. When an idea hits, most authors can see how the story starts, maybe some middle scenes, and how it should end. But if they end up jumping head long into the writing, they can face a lot of obstacles.

Trish and I talked a lot about our first book before we started writing it. We chatted often through the Internet (IM and email) and the occasional phone call, but we didn't really put together any outline. I guess we figured that since we knew what direction everything should go, that we didn't need to outline it out. As we wrote, and since we didn't have a real solid plan, the hours we spent on many scenes ended up being a waste of time because they ultimately were cut from the final manuscript. We could have saved ourselves from the headache (of tossing out material and adding new) if we had simply took the time to lay the road.

So, in order to avoid the roadblock, we decided to take on our next project differently. Instead of writing the synopsis AFTER we wrote the story, we wrote the synopsis beforehand. Our next step was a Chapter Breakdown. In the breakdown, we wrote a three-five sentence synopsis of what will happen in each chapter. The next step is to begin the writing!!

Our plan this year is to try out the NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng) or National Novel Writing Month. Having deadlines is good for any writer to have. If you don't set limitations, goals, etc, the book will never be finished. If the goal is to write 10 pages a day or 28 hours a week, then things are bound to get done rather than saying to yourself, "Oh, I'll get to it eventually." If you use the later excuse, you are setting your book up for failure. NaNoWriMo is more like a commitment. You are to write a 50,000 word novel in the space of one month- November. This is great because it has a due date. And as I said, a writer DOES need a due date.

So- ask us Dec 1st if we're finished :). My hope is to give an affirmative yes!

It HAS been a while since either of us posted here. My!

I've been off conventioning… Christy has had a lot of family needs - both good and not-so-good.

We have been writing though. Life has not entirely beaten us down!

Christy sent me a working synopsis of our new novel - outside of the Shadow Guard/Fae Sithein realm. She sent it… almost a week ago. Maybe more than a week ago.

I started reading it daily. I know the first page by heart, mostly. (It's really poetic, too! Especially for a working synopsis!) I finally finished reading it today - but did not get to add any edits or comments.

Please don't kill me, Christy? J

I get off my tutoring hours at 9PM tomorrow. Christy, if you are online, you have permission - nay - I order/beg you to get out that whip!

Yay co-author motivation!

P.S. You can post here, too, Chris ;)

About Us

We have a diverse, combined writing experience. I am a middle school English teacher and an administrator and co-administrator for various writing groups. Trisha is a freelance writer, editor, and online educator whose fiction appears in FANTASY GAZETTEER. Together we co-authored "Party Crashers” for the EPPIE award winning anthology BAD ASS FAERIES 2: JUST PLAIN BAD.

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