Re-imagining and Re-outlining

It’s been a busy past few days, and I’m happy to report that I did well with working on the new outline for the increasingly ill-named Dark Mirror.  I’m really going to have to rename this at some point, but not until I have finished writing the second draft, as I’ll hopefully have a better idea of what to call it by then.  Maybe.  I’m really awful with titles for my own work.  Maybe I’ll ask my test readers to help me with that.  Hint, nudge, you know who you are.

One of the interesting things about redoing this is the way everything is changing.  I’m talking a total re-imagining of the whole story and even the world I was building.  I’m a little impressed with myself for doing it, actually, as I can get quite attached to an idea once I give it form.  For it to change this much and for me to flow with that level of change is a major achievement in my life as a writer, a milestone even.  I think part of what has made it possible is the conviction that this is shaping into something much better.  Even the outline is better, and I have a richer story, with the other characters seeming more real to me, and each of them having their strengths and weaknesses that inform the story further, even though it is Fay’s story, as I said in my last post.

The new outline is almost done.  Another day or two should finish it off, as long as the ideas and story keep flowing in my mind as they have been.  I will not start writing as soon as it’s done though.   I’m going to try to leave it alone for at least a few days, preferably a week and then reread it and see what I think, see if it needs tweaking before I start in on Page One of the second draft.  I say try because I had planned on waiting a while before reading the first draft of DM and all of you reading this will know how that went.  Reading the next morning, followed by absolute panic and harsh self-judgement.  Having pulled myself back together after that, I don’t really want to do that again.  Actually, on the subject of reading the first draft, I was perusing through some of the later parts, trying to record what I had named a couple of background characters who may become important down the road (next book, not this one, which, yes, does mean that I’m planning at least one sequel), and you know, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought, especially for first draft.  No, Em, still not going to let you read it, but that’s mostly because what I’m doing with the second draft will be way better and I don’t want to spoil it for you.  I know you’ll forgive me one day. 🙂  But it’s nice to know that I just might have been a bit unfair to myself during that day-after panic (the parts that didn’t make it in to this blog were considerably harder on me than what you read).  Everyone who knows me well has now fallen to the floor in shock at that little admission that I might be too hard on myself, trust me on that, my newer friends/followers.

I’m very much looking forward to starting on the new draft, actually.  This may seem strange to some people, especially since I realized yesterday that I had finished the 107,000 word first draft only a little over a week ago.  But I’ll let you in on something important about me as a writer.  Some people say that a blank page intimidates them and I think that’s one of the causes of writer’s block for some.  I’m not one of those people.  To me, a blank page is a canvas waiting for something to fill it, something I can provide.  It’s a challenge to me, and pushes me forward.  I delight in pushing my cursor across the screen, drawing my pen/pencil across the page, throw in line after line in my outlining program, all the while creating something real.  I find the empty space at the bottom/on the back/on the next sheet pushes me forward, draws me on.  As much as I loved the feeling of writing The End on the first draft of DM, I was also rather sad knowing I had to stop.  A week and a half later, and it’s all I can do to keep from starting Page One of the second draft right now.  I’m not sure if it’s awesome or if it makes me a sick glutton for punishment that I want to sit down and do another month-long write-a-thon already, not quite halfway through December.  I’ll let you all be the judge, because I keep ending up with both as my own answer.

The ideas for everything else are also still flowing, even as I keep focused on the outline for second draft.  I have a few separate characters tapping me on the shoulder, begging for my attention.  Well, Sketh doesn’t beg, and I suspect he’s tapping with something sharp (he’s a very bad boy, honestly) but there’s something about him…  I think there’s more to him than I’m seeing right now, something amazing.  Helix just rode off on his bike, but he’ll be back any second now.  And Arcalyus refuses to leave me alone either.  When I get DM’s second draft done, I’m not going to know which story to develop next.  That will be a hard decision if this keeps up, but I promise, I’m not complaining.  I’d rather this than writer’s block any day of the week.  I just need to learn to type faster, think faster or get an iPad with an unlimited battery and stop sleeping entirely.  Hmm, none of these plans seem likely to work out.  Oh well, I’ll get to them all, eventually, and whoever shows up later.  Thankfully, I really do love writing, or they’d all get annoying really quickly.


About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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3 Responses to Re-imagining and Re-outlining

  1. ottabelle says:

    Haha, this is great. I love when I have multiple ideas at once. It is hard deciding which to work on, and sometimes I get sad having to tell another one “No.” Your characters sound so interesting, and I’m glad you realize you’re being too hard on yourself.

    Thanks for following!

  2. ottabelle says:

    Its difficult to figure out how to follow on my non-smart phone! I think I have it though.

  3. Julie says:

    Thanks for the comments and encouragement. I think the hard part for me is the balance, knowing where appropriate honesty about myself and my work ends and excessive self-condemnation begins. Currently, I mostly go by the rule of thumb that it’s probably never as bad it seems. My friends tend to voice the opinion that I don’t give myself enough credit, so that backs up my theory.

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