Outlining; Or, My Attempt At Leveling Up My Writing

Outlining; Or, My Attempt At Leveling Up My Writing

I have raged against proper outlines from the moment I learned of them. I have never been a fan. In the past, I have info dumped, and then continued from there. At least, until now.

Be it the fact that I binge watch certain author YouTubers, such as Jenna Moreci or Alexa Donne, I felt compelled to work harder at my craft. At one point last year, I had almost given up entirely. Their channels, as well as others, kept me from throwing away a life long dream. But as with all dreams, there comes a point where you either have to settle for it as a mere fantasy, or bust your ass to make it a reality. I have chosen the latter.

Yesterday I outlined the first four chapters of a fantasy novel that I have been working on for a while now. By working on, I mean writing chapters or snippets, rather than outlining, when that’s what I should have been doing all along. Sure, I can get by without an outline, but that doesn’t mean I should.

Everyone works differently, of course. However, the more I prepare to write, or continue writing the books I have plans to one day query for publishing, the more I’ve realized my disorganization has affected my output and my motivation for the projects in general. That’s why this year I am sticking to firm goals and/or deadlines. It’s the only way to prepare for what I hope is a life long career of writing.

My goal for this month is to finish that outline. In February, my plan is to be tweaking said outline. Then March the real fun begins with a pre-NaNo writing month that I hope will yield a majority of my first draft. In April, I hope to finish up my first draft during Camp NaNo. When May arrives, I will be taking a breather, for various real life reasons. Once June 1st begins, so will revisions. It is my hope that by July I will be able to write a second draft. Should I do that, August will be a break month. Then comes September and October, or in other words, the months leading up to the main event – National Novel Writing Month. It is here I hope to write my final draft, unless that has already happened in September or October. In which case, I hope that during that month I will be doing last minute checks on the last draft. At some point before January of 2020, I hope to be querying, and so on.

I feel like, given the year I know I have ahead, this is an ambitious schedule. However, it is not impossible.

With that being said, every other post here at least, will pertain to some aspect of the writing process, as that is the main theme of this whole blog. I’m not an expert though, just merely chronicling bits of my life as I continue to work towards what I have hoped to achieve from a very young age. Younger me is counting on older me, so I can’t let them down.

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Consistency Is Key

So it’s been a while. Almost a year, to be exact. It seems that’s been the norm for me, up until now at least. In spite of what I have managed with this blog, I actually have developed consistency in other areas of my life. Namely, with my writing, as of late. Yes, I still do that, even if I’m terrible about the upkeep of this blog.

If I’ve learned anything, especially if I want to continue this venture, it’s that I need to foster a schedule that will allow me to incorporate it into the rest of my life. Therefore, I am going to attempt a post once a week. *gasp* I can hear naysayers already, my inner conscience being one of them. Hah. Well, buckle up you negative Nellies, because this is happening.

Now, moving on. The whole point of this blog was to talk and/or vent where applicable about my experiences as a writer. Over the course of the last three years that this blog has been published on the open internet, I’ve done very little writing about writing. Mainly because, I spent a good deal of time procrastinating and/or waiting until the Muse decided they were ready to make an appearance in my daily routine. Well you see, as much as I am terrible about consistency, my Muse is even more so. Which brings me to my next point.

As a writer, or artist of any kind really, you CANNOT wait until inspiration strikes. If you mean to make it a career, it means working on your latest project (s) with the same intensity daily, regardless if it strikes your fancy or not. Because writing or any other form of art is work, no matter what anyone else tells you. It is not easy, and if you got into it because that’s what you wanted, then you may as well tuck tail and run, because this is not the career for you.

In regards to my own writing, I’m still working on the novel I started now eleven summers ago. It has gone through so many different outlines and drafts, that I have lost count at this point. There’s no telling how many versions I’ve made, because as the years have gone on the story has evolved to the point where I changed my main characters entirely, different characters have been scrapped and/or added, the point of view has been swapped from first to a version of third person, and the main overall plot has been changed. If I were to see the very first version of this draft, I might weep out of sheer embarrassment. Yes, it was really that bad, if memory serves me correctly. Which, knowing who I was at roughly 13 years old, I’m sure it does.

My goal for this year is to finish the first and second drafts of the novel, depending on how well I keep to the schedule I’ve set for myself. Where I’m at in life now affords me more time to work on it, if I manage my time wisely. I no longer have a newborn who needs every ounce of my attention, so that does wonders for productivity. So, I should *fingers crossed*, be able to do this.

As I write, I will update this blog on my progress. It keeps me accountable, and talking about it bolsters my excitement to continue. So, that will be the bulk of my posting as I start getting back into it the swing of things. However, there may be some posts here and there, discussing the process of writing, publishing, etc., depending where I’m at with it all. Overall though, I’m glad to be back, and I look forward to producing more blog posts, filled with writerly content for all of those searching just for that.

Until next time,

T.J.

Of Returning and the Road Ahead

 

Current Time- 7:39 P.M.

Current Mood- Slightly frustrated, but determined.

Caffeine Level- Extremely low. I’m not quite sure that I can function much longer without my socially acceptable addiction.

Words Written in the Past 48 Hours- Less than 2,000. It’s pitiful, really.

So, it’s been an awful long time since I’ve logged into this blog. I feel like the last year or so has been more draining and hectic than a few others, but thankfully I survived the storm. In the time that I’ve been gone, a lot of stuff has gone on in my personal life. I’ve been working hard, as well as hardly working.

I managed to snag a job last year, in my dire time of need. I had a good run there, but some good things must come to an end. I’ve written more fanfiction, as well as sections of novels I hope to one day publish. Babies have been born, nuptials have occurred, and my little family of three has grown older. Life has continued on, with me tagging along for the ride.

Now, I’m back. I have no plans of going anywhere this time, as I crack down on myself, in an effort to progress further in my nearly non existent professional writing career. I should have done this ages ago, but the important point to remember is that I am now.

Next month is Camp NaNoWriMo, and it is my hope that I will be able to write at least 40,000 solid words on my first novel. It’s a fantasy, and something that I have been planning for ten years. The series it belongs to, I have, anyways. The actual book was tacked onto the whole series two months ago, but it is actually essential to the rest of the novels which will follow. Ah, the life of a writer.

In my quest to become a published author, I will sing and bitch about it all here accordingly, depending on where I’m at in the process of which work. Maybe one day, someone will realize how brilliant I am, and simply offer me a book contract on the spot. HAH! Now that’s just wishful thinking. However, I’ll still hold out hope.

Until next time, may your coffee be flowing, and your sleep adequate.