Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lip Gloss & Lies needs work, a lot of work...

I was so proud of myself this weekend for actually sitting down and devoting my afternoon to writing. If felt so good and familiar to have laptop on, well my lap, kitty on my side, and doggie by my feet. With notes open, I got to work. And boy, do I have work to do.

This past March I finished my outline for the sequel and I was surprised by how much I had planned and already written. I had honestly forgotten that Lip Gloss & Lies was my NanoWriMo goal last year and I had written 15k in those first two weeks before realizing forging ahead without an outline wouldn't work for me.

But that's where the good warm fuzzy feeling ended.

You see, I really don't like my story outline. So much so that I'm thinking about changing the murder victim and murderess. Just the basics, you know? :) I managed to take the entire 38-page outline and summarize it down to three remaining plot points. And to be honest, they're minor plot points. The big guys are still yet to be determined--and I couldn't be happier. In writing this sequel I'm reminded of a couple of points I've learned along the way:

#1 Sequel or not, each novel should stand on its own.

#2 It's far easier to change an outline than to rewrite an entire novel. Even changing one scene screws up the rest (as it should. If you can delete/change an entire scene and it doesn't effect your story, you have a problem).

#3 Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I remember reading a part in "First Draft in 30 Days" (Karen Weisner) that you should set aside your outline for a month if not longer and then come back to it with fresh eyes. While I followed her other tips while writing Beauty Secrets, this was one I ignored. After having this experience with Lip Gloss & Lies, however, I've changed my mind. I've always been in too big of a rush to wait, you know? But I will follow her advice this time!

One things for sure, this publishing (and pregnancy) is going to teach me patience one way or another (or at least test it a time or two!). Happy writing.


TLH said...

Definitely agree with the motion to walk away for a while. It really works wonders.

I took about six months off of dedicated writing earlier this year. After editing on my first MS for over a year, and still not being happy, I sat it aside. I was hardly even reading during this time.

And when I came back to it, I had gotten far enough away to admit that I just needed to start over. But see I'm not an outline person. So I had to throw out 120,000 words instead of 38 pages of outline.

Maybe I should start doing outlines...


Steph Damore said...

Ouch. Yeah, I learned to outline after tossing my first novel aside. I really did like the book "First Draft in 30 Days"--it helped me create a solid story (even if I didn't follow it exactly).

Cinette said...

I'm not an outliner by practice, but I'm thinking it's the route I need to take. Thanks for the extra push in that direction.
And did I 'hear' you mention pregnancy? Okay, I have LOTS of experience in that department;-)