The joys of outlining

That has to be one of my most sarcastic titles I’ve ever written. The joys of outlining…excuse me while I weep silently into my pillow. *Muzak version of Pharrell Williams Happy plays in the background while writer wails miserably into a pillow* Sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I’m a little tired right now. Maybe I’m still emotional after Seattle’s Super Bowl loss on Sunday. Back to the reason I’m writing today….

I’m working on outlining my book, hoping to get a visual of my story main points and how it fits together so I can rip it apart and put it back together. I’m deconstructing the book scene by scene, highlighting the main points in each. It’s been slowing going so far. I’m only on chapter two, but I also didn’t do a thing yesterday. I’m off from work today, so I play to catch up and get as much done as I possibly can.

I’ve never worked with an outline before. I confess this to my friend who wrote back in astonishment that I could have gotten through college without learning how. In fact I did learn how, but it’s not a practice I’ve kept up with. I always felt that it constrained my writing so I didn’t bother to remember. It’s coming back to me, and I still hate it! But as I put the outline together, I’m grudgingly having to admit that it may be a useful skill to have.

Though I am far from done, I’m convinced this exercise will help me make a better umpteenth draft. There is one scene in particular that bothers me, but not so much that it’s there but rather because of the person to whom the story is being told. I’m hoping to find a better place for it and maybe this process will help me locate it. The other option is to cut it out, which I’m not entirely adverse to, but I believe the back story the scene shows is important. We’ll see how it goes.

If this works, I will apply this process to another book I’ve already written but needs a lot of work. Maybe this is the tool I’ve been needing in order to progress to the next step in my desire to become a published writer. Only time will tell, as the saying goes, but there’s another saying that may be more appropriate. “Get off your fat ass and get to work!”

I think we can all agree those are truly words of wisdom. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an ass that needs getting off of, but ironically I’ll have to sit on it to get this particular work done.

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