Writing Update

While waiting for feedback on my first novel, I’ve been trying to create an outline for a second. I tried one idea, but it kind of fizzled halfway through. It might be salvageable, but I decided to go back to an earlier idea I had rejected (the one I said I wasn’t very passionate about in my previous post). I combined that with a few other ideas I had floating around, and I think it works as a story.

I’ve been using yWriter to create the outline and I have mixed feelings so far. In some ways it’s pretty clunky. For example, it seems difficult to add new characters while I’m in the middle of adding a new scene. It seems like I have to back out of creating the scene, add the character to the project, and then open the scene again and add the character. Reordering chapters seemed to be a bit hit and miss, too. This may be due to unfamiliarity with the tool, though, so I’m not prepared to give up on it. The structure it’s imposing on me is somewhat helpful. For example, I had to spell out the different scenes in each of the chapters, which helps keep me honest in terms of whether or not I have enough material to fill complete chapters in each part of the outline.

Right now I have 40 chapters outlined. Most of them have three scenes each, and I’m pretty confident I can get at least 2000 words out of a three scene chapter (40 * 2000 = 80,000 word target length). However, some of the chapters only have one or two scenes, and I’m less confident about being able to achieve the length on those chapters. Also, right now the ending chapters are essentially a lead-in to a sequel in the sense that they introduce a big new “problem” for the characters to deal with. I’m not sure if I like that or not.

I’m not going to jump into writing it right away. On my last outline I ended up throwing half of it away in the process of writing. I want to make sure I’m comfortable with the story I’m planning to tell before I dive in this time.

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2 Responses to Writing Update

  1. AJM says:

    On the “Big Problem at the end of the second novel… Why not put it in a post-script after the final chapter?

  2. Dan says:

    Two reasons. First, if I do that, then I lose a few chapters out of the “body” of the story, and it becomes too short again. Second, from what I understand, prologues and epilogues are theoretically supposed to be optional. If I want to do a sequel I can’t have pivotal plot stuff happen in an optional section of the previous book.

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