When I say I'm outlining "Fire in Khartoum", it's no joke. I am a "discovery writer", which is just a fancy way of saying I'm making all this shit up (I curse because it's true) as I go along. Still, I'm doing this writing thing Scientifically, and observation tells me that it is probably better for me to get into the habit of outlining longer works. Here's why:
1. If I think of the plot and figure out the viewpoints before I write the whole thing, I won't have long uncomfortable pauses between writing # and writing the next scene where I'm just pacing the room trying to figure out what's going to happen next.
2. I can keep a whole short story in my head at a time, easy. But a novel? And what happens when I lose the thread? No, I've got to get it all in a spreadsheet.
3. It seems more professional to do this, both because it's easier to report progress when you have this convenient excel spreadsheet of all the scenes in the book and because you actually know how many scenes are left. I admit that this is my otherskills experience creeping in, but nothing's wrong with that. If I'm going to be a pro, I'll act like a pro.
4. Spreadsheets can be changed. I don't have to worry about "boxing myself in"...because, well: I can just push the X button.
Am I saying I'm outlining everything from now on? No! I'm not even done with my first book outline, but the most recent Alan story was my testbed, and it seemed to work fine. I'm not discounting a Flurry of Productivity that produces an awesome book, but I'm going to do it scientifically when that isn't happening.
By the way, I heartily recommend the Tron: Legacy soundtrack for any writing except for Romance Novels set in 1885. Just...just no. Daft Punk Sex Scene: Awesome, but not sexy. (Did that guy just? DUDE! No keyboards in the bedroom. Wait, you're not even in the bedroom. ...I think it just got sexy.)
I was getting confused by the Blogger "Stats" tab because it was telling me only 10 people read the blog the other day, which was significantly less than...ever? I mean, the first post had at least 30. So I popped over to Google Analytics, which I installed but never really check because it's addictive, and-
Sweet-googly-moogly! People read my blog! Sure, it's not massive numbers, but still, for a random person like me on the Internet, it feels like a lot. A special shout-out to the 42 "absolute unique visitors" who read my blog almost every day.
I hope that it's because you enjoy my musings, not because you have nothing better to do...but, hey, either way.
- - - -
Reading - Whatever, Screw That Jerk, You Want To Be a Writer