Wednesday, August 5, 2015

IWSG: Self Doubt

 
 
It's the first Wednesday of August and time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you'd like to find out more about it or want to sign up go HERE. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and the wonderful members of the community who volunteer to make this event happen every month. This month the volunteers are Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne, Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia! Stop by to say "hey" if you get a chance.

I've taken a huge step back this year and have written very little. I wrote a short story for the anthology with my Untethered Realms group which is a prequel to the series I'm planning. I've written two chapters for novel #1 in the series to get a feel for how it will go and am maybe halfway through with the outline.

I've always written from an outline, but...

After taking James Patterson's Masterclass and paying close attention to the section on outlines and receiving his actual outline (eeep!) for his novel, Honeymoon, I'm trying to follow his model by making my outline more detailed. Patterson's outlines are numbered and each one is a chapter/section. His method focuses on story, and each section is like a movie scene. Just tell the story. Go back and fill in the blanks. Keep fleshing it out, then get rid of anything that doesn't move the story forward. Put in some twists. By the time you're done, the story is set and all you have to do is write it. His method, to me, is more straight forward and less mechanical than other craft books I've read.

So--I'm hoping to write a better novel than I've ever written before!

But I'm riddled with self doubt!
 
Yikes!
 
What are you working on?


22 comments:

  1. Good luck with the detailed outlining. I found I couldn't do it, but it would be fantastic if I could. That's so awesome you took James Patterson's class. I'm reading some of his novels. They are so fast paced.

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    1. They are so fast-paced and easy to read. I have tremendous respect for his craft.

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  2. I bet you will! I believe in detailed outlines and have always created one. There is a bonus when you do that - the revisions are easier.

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    1. Alex, I remember you saying before that your outlines are so long that they're practically a novel. Now I know what you were talking about. I'm definitely a plotter so I think this is going to work well for me.

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  3. I try to outline with every new book. so far what works best for me is a character grid my critique partner and I got from a writing workshop. You fill out the characters wants, needs, their "wound" or flaw, the inciting event, the climax, the end. Doing that for each major character is helpful so it's like a roadmap without having to know how the story will work to get there. I also did diary entries in the character's voices and that was SO helpful. I pulled things from that into the story, sometimes verbatim.

    I'm glad you feel inspired. And why wouldn't someone want to read your words? Why is middle aged a dirty word--it's life experience. You've survived, you've perservered. And you're a mom. Congratulations on doing the hardest job on earth. Your role should be celebrated. I would much rather read words from an experienced mother than an entitled person with no life experience. Just saying.

    Here is my August IWSG post. It's the second post on my blog today because my Pitch Wars mentor bio needs to stay at the top. Thanks!

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    1. I definitely need to do the character grid, Steph. I've discovered that I don't really know my characters yet, and you can't write a novel without knowing them first.

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  4. How cool that you took the Masterclass. So glad it inspired you. Your books are already so enjoyable to read that I don't think you have any reason at all to doubt yourself.

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    1. You're very sweet, Julie, thank you <3

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  5. Yes, good on you to try a new method. I find that writing a 3-page synopsis of the entire novel after I've started writing a chapter or two works like magic for me.

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    1. I do the synopsis, too, Catherine. I know the premise, but I generally have a problem with what happens next unless I do an outline. Wish I could pants it!

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  6. I don't outline, but I do relate to your desire to want to write a better book by using a new process. Best of luck finding your new stride.

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    1. Thanks, Kai. I think I'm going to like my new and improved outlines.

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  7. The more books I write, the more detailed I make my outlines. It really does help.
    Susan Says

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    1. A fellow outliner! I think a more detailed outline will help immensely.

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  8. I'm a pantser, but I've been trying to outline and hoping that will help make everything more efficient. Can't wait to see your newest story! I'm working on a little something with a trio of ghost hunters. :)

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    1. Oooh, ghost hunters! I can't wait. Cuz you know I love me some ghosties 0_o

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  9. I love creating detailed outlines. But some writers do better without them or with less detailed outlines. Figure out what works for you and stick with it. :)

    IWSG co-host Write with Fey

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  10. What a cool way to get into outlines *via Patterson no less*! Every detail and scene sits on a shelf inside my mind palace *not unlike Sherlock* and, depending upon my mood, I'll randomly pull one out and polish, until I've a crazy quilt of plot points, character developments and pinnacle scenes to puzzle together. This is also why I need coffee.

    Uncharted

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  11. I have never, ever been able to outline a story more than halfway through without getting stuck. For me, the answers always come organically while I write the first draft. Maybe if I took a course with James Patterson, I could learn better.

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  12. I'm with Dianne. I can outline an essay in a flick of a cat's whisker, but not a novel. I suffer for that, but I kind of enjoy the suffering along the way.

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  13. I recommend a book by Jim West called Libellus de Numeros (The Book of Math) that my 11-year-old daughter just finished reading. The story is about Alex, a young precocious girl, who mysteriously gets transported to a strange world where Latin and Math combine in formulas and equations with magical effects. With a cruel council leading the only safe city of its kind in this world, she will have to prove her worth to stay as well as help this city as it is the target for two evil wizards who seek to destroy the city and its ruling council. To help the city and also get back home, she will need the help of the greatest mathematician of all time, Archimedes. In a world where math is magic, Alex wishes she paid more attention in math class.

    A Goodread 5-star review said:

    "The storyline inspires a hunger for knowledge and a 'can do' attitude - a strong message of empowerment for young readers. I’m sure that this book will be interesting to read for both, boys and girls, as well as adult readers. Libellus de Numeros means "Book of Numbers" and it's a magical textbook in the story. Math and science are wonderfully incorporated into a captivating plot: Latin and math are presented as exciting tools to make 'magic' and while Latin is often used as a language of magic the addition of math is definitely a fresh approach.

    "The main heroine Alex is a very relatable character for young people, especially girls. I love that she has her flaws and goes through struggles all too familiar to a lot of young people. Alex is an authentic female role model - a very courageous girl, who is not afraid to stand up for herself and others and who is able to learn fast how to use knowledge to her best advantage.

    "She can definitely do everything that boys can and I find this to be a very powerful message that is needed in our modern society. Furthermore, it was a pleasure to read through the pages of a well-formatted eBook. Highly recommended!"

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  14. Right now I'm trying to get back into a writing groove after it stalled this month. Good luck with the outlining. :-)

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