Julie Frost, SFF writer (agilebrit) wrote,
Julie Frost, SFF writer

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I've been having a terrible time with this novel outline, but I've had a breakthrough.

I may have mentioned more than once that I'm not a natural novelist. The short story is the milieu that has chosen me, not the other way around. I wrote my first novel completely by accident, and writing one on purpose has been daunting, to say the least.

And things like yesterday and today are why we go to writing conferences even when we think we're pretty experienced at this stuff. As you know, Bob, I've been having a terrible time trying to outline this damned novel sequel. So there was an outlining presentation that said, basically, I was doing it wrong. I've been TRYING (and abjectly failing) to outline it from the top down.

She suggested we skip from the Hook to the Resolution, then bounce to the Midpoint, and THEN fill in the blanks.

Mind. Blown.

Not that "outline like that" was the solution that worked for me. It turned out that I didn't know what the Midpoint was until I knew what Pinch 1 was. However, it changed my paradigm enough that it led me to at least a partial solution to my dilemma. And this means I have Pinch 1, and I went backward from that to Plot Turn 1.

And that, my friends, means I've got the first half of Ben's part of this novel.

Which brings me back to "why should I go to writers' conferences?" Because "do what works for you" is a Thing, and if something that used to work for you suddenly isn't, more eyeballs on your problem, along with some outside input, may help you fix it. Her actual advice did not fix my problem, but it led me to a solution that worked.

Which means I'm no longer stalled on this damned outline. \o/
Tags: conventions, writing process
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