Monday, May 7, 2012

Outline, outline, outline

First, sorry for the blog vacuum, 'vita interrupta' the last few weeks. It's called shingles and it not fun, Buckoos. I'm only running on 5 cylinders but I'm determined to make up for lost ground. So let's talk about the 'Outline'.

The outline file I'm building for the 'Arlo and Jake' series is really coming along great! I'm adding lots of 'concept ideas' to the top of the file to go along with the chapter outline at the bottom. So I've basically got character descriptions at the top, story concept/ideas and then the outline. Everything in one file, nice and compact. Here's how it's laid out:

Cast of Characters:
Arlo
  3 years old. Panther Chameleon : Furcifer pardalis. Emerald green. Eyes can focus independently
  ...
Jake Jasper
  60 years old. Took early retirement after selling tech stock. Wife died 3 years earlier, never remarried. 3 daughters. Software developer.
  ...
Maddie Jasper
  Jake's wife, died 3 years before 'now'

Major Players:
Federation of Thirteen Galaxies (FTG)
A federation of planets from 12 galaxies (no one seems to remember why it's not 'Federation of Twelve Galaxies'. "we lost one somewhere along the line and no one can remember which one or where it was. It's too much trouble to change all the stationary."
Mekalon
The primary ruling planet of the 'Federation of Thirteen Galaxies'.
Galactic Houses of Aquinoxous (GHA)
A federation of aquatic species whose home worlds are mostly water. At war with the FTG for aqua forming planets in FTG space .

Summary of Series:
What's happening through each book. A time line through the series.

Book One 'Arlo and Jake: Enlistment'
1 Jake and Arlo at the beach house
   Jake wakes up to trio of beauties, Captain Starla, Ships Surgeon Lt Cmdr Betzel, Lt Nanel
   Lt Nanel administers cure for his massive sunburn
   Capt Starla transports them to ship
2.  Jake wakes up in a healing vat
...
Book Two 'Arlo and Jake: Raw Recruits'
Book Three 'Arlo and Jake: Captain's Mast'
Book Four 'Arlo and Jake: An Officer and a Lizard'
...

This is exciting. I can see so much of the series forming up as I lay out the stories and outlines. I can play with characters, settings, enablers, plot lines for the whole series if I want to.

This is already 10 time better than the process I went through for 'Genome'. But I haven't finished the first book yet, so we'll see if all this up front research is going to make me a better author or this series better. Fun!

Keep writing!