Outlining is something I used to dread like the plague. I’m finding now, however, that I really like them. Not in a strict, no-veering-off-course way. Mine are kind of like stars I line up, shuffle around, ponder further. With them, I can see if I forgot an important detail, like the fact that my heroine is the only one who can communicate with a group of people in their language. Which proved to be something I had to dwell on as I have other groups of people interacting with them. What I’m thinking though, is that they could use a sign language. Very few of my humans know it in this universe, so interpreters are very important.
I’m also able to see problems in the time-line of the book with the help of the outline. I had some events happening sooner than they logically should. What is an easy fix now could have been a major headache if I’d discovered this further down the line. I keep my outline open so that if I ever get an awesome plot detail, I can see where to weave it in and how it fits in with the rest of the story. Again, an easy fix that could be worse if I just threw everything out the window and clung to a strict outline.
Another thing that really helps me out is reading other blogs. I have them all set to come to my home email so I can go through them, see what interests me, and then decide what to read. I find some gems this way. It’s how I discovered Angela Ackerman’s and Becca Puglisi’s website in the beginning and how I know about their OneStopforWriters website they have now. It’s a fabulous website with all kinds of goodies for writers. I highly recommend anything they do!! I’ve also discovered Shannon Lawrence’s website where she lists fabulous information along with links to markets. I’ve stumbled into courage and someone who tells it like it is over at Chuck Wendig’s website. I could go on and on. The point is, there are blogs out there worth some time and effort to read, study, and learn a new tool for our writing box from. I encourage you all to visit as many as you can.
Any favorite blogs you want to give a shout out to?