Where’s My Lighter?

I’m starting to think this is a December 4th tradition, and I’m not sure I like it.

Let me explain. On this day last year, I had just finished the first draft of Bound (not called that at the time) the day before. On this day last year, I woke up and decided to see if I could rework the first half the way I needed to before stuffing it in a drawer to be edited later. I’d ended up making a major change to the plot halfway through, so I knew this was coming before I’d finished the draft.  Sadly, what I discovered was that I actually need to burn the whole novel to the ground and start over again. I did. It only stung a little, and I learned in the process.

Today I was a single section away from finishing my outline of Unmasked, then sticking it in the drawer to be reviewed/revised later. Is anyone else seeing a pattern here?  No? Let me continue then. I was rereading some of the earlier sections to add in something I’d thought of and noticed I wasn’t happy with it. It has some flaws, a few of which are striking me as more serious with every passing minute.  Now, I could try to just revise a bit, to work in some extra stuff and try to correct what’s not living up to my personal expectations.  But, from past experience (see this time last year), I’m not going to do that.  No, sometimes you just need a can of gasoline and a lighter.

Pardon me for a minute.  *Fwoosh*  There, that’s better.

No, Cayle won’t mind. He wasn’t entirely happy with the old outline either.  So I’m starting over.  I’ve done the first section again. It’s better than the old first section.  Again, I learn, I grow.

That said, I’m hoping this really won’t become my December 4th tradition. It’s not fun staring at all those words before watching the flames eat them. (No, honest, I didn’t burn my laptop literally.  Geez, what kind of psycho pyromaniac do you take me for?)

And now to move forward, to make this story what it wants to be.  The first book of a new project is always the hardest. *headdesk*


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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5 Responses to Where’s My Lighter?

  1. Peggy Isaacs says:

    I think I need to give you back the pillow you gave me not so long ago to lessen the damage to your forehead. Consider it regifted. ❤

    Good luck.

    • Julie says:

      Oh, yeah, that feels better. Thanks, lol. I’ll be okay, and the story will be better for doing this when I get to actually writing it. That’s the biggest lesson I took away from doing this with the first draft of Bound, not to be afraid to start over if needed.

  2. wordsurfer says:

    Just as a matter of interest – how do you do your outlines? What do they look like? And how much into detail do you go with them?

    • Julie says:

      I use a program called omnioutliner for mine, but you could use excel or word. I do go into a fair bit of detail, more or less setting out the whole plot. Yes, I’m flexible, adding and changing during writing as needed, but those aren’t usually major things. The outline is fairly linear, and goes through its own revision process before I start writing the manuscript. After this post, you can probably see why.

      I’ve been asked about this by a number of people now, so maybe I’ll do a more detailed post on it (or a small series of them, depending on how long it turns out to be). Give people a deeper peek into how a hardcore plotter works. Something to think about

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