…and I am still writing. As I write, I still go back to my notes and my outline to develop and revise the characters and plot. This is because one does not get to 25,000 words without a plan.
Growing up, I learned to write an outline for formal pieces of writing. And, like everyone else, I learned to research and take notes. When I hit high school I got lazy. I didn’t want to write an outline. Hey! I didn’t even want to write a first draft. I also didn’t need to do so. I took a hit on my grade, or I just wrote the outline after writing the paper. That’s just what I did.
When I hit college the need to plan became very evident. I couldn’t possibly write 25 pages without making a plan and following it. So I pulled out those dusty old outlining and drafting skills, blew them off, and used them once again with great success.
You’d think I would have done the same before I unsuccessfully began my first novel. Instead, as some would say, I pulled a Jack Kerouac and simply wrote, enjoying each plot discovery and character development in real time. The problem with this method is the requirement on the part of the writer to have consistent inspiration while finishing the piece in one sitting. I have neither the capacity nor the patience to engage in such writing. That’s why I gave up on the story and set it to the side. If anything, I was just playing at being a writer.
I’m done playing. 25,000 words and an outline from which I am writing is proof of this fact. It’s proof of a major accomplishment in skill and in self-discipline. So until I pound out another 25,000 words, enjoy a few of my favorite posts still on this page.