I’ve been MIA for a while now, but I had a good reason. I’ve been writing! Actually, rewriting. For any of you that have taken a manuscript as far as you can take it and then you realize…Wow! There are some major problems here that need some major fixing. I tried to salvage it, work through, move things around, etc. etc. I finally decided to start it over. The good news though is that I much prefer writing to editing and I know my characters so much better now.

I am approximately 10,000 words in with an expected 85,000 completion goal. I wrote 10,000 in just a few days though which is super fast for me. I’ve learned a couple of things along the way too and it’s made it a lot easier. I’ve realized that as much as I love to write pantster style, I work more productively as an outliner. I began by outlining the whole thing using Blake Snyder’s beat sheet method. Then everyday, before I write (this is important), I take a few minutes to outline each scene. In this outline, I really try to visualize where I want it to begin and how I want it to end. I also take notes of scenery, smells, and things my characters might say. The reason I write out the beginning and end of a scene is that it helps keep me focused. A whole mess of things can happen in the middle of the scene, but it has to eventually lead me to the end of it. This keeps me having to move scenes later or edit them out completely. 

My main outline is done inside of Scrivener, but I also have a huge corkboard in my office when I need a more tactile approach. The chapter outlines I do in a yellow notepad. It’s more portable and I keep it with me wherever I go. Inspiration hits at the oddest moments. 

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing.