Monday, February 17, 2014

Outlining is a pain!

How much time have you spent outlining your current block buster novel? Couple 'a days? A few weeks? More?

I'm working on the outline for book 3 of the 'Arlo and Jake' humorous SciFi series. It's a bitch. A cold-eyed, coal-hearted, unforgiving son of gun. It's definitely not as much fun as writing the story. It's kicking my ass and I'm sore. I had a good bit of it done and it's doo-doo. I have to rethink at least half of it. Arlo was not a happy camper with his parts, not enough wise cracking or adventure.

It amazes me how much blood, sweat and beer it takes to sketch out a good story. It should just flow like wine from my imagination, right? I hear and read about writers that sit down and just 'let the characters tell me their story'. Really?

For me it's more like digging molasses out of a jar with a toothpick. My characters are laughing at me the whole time. 'Why should we tell you anything? It's your demented imagination, we just live here!'

Don't get me wrong, it's the right way, at least for me, to write. I've tried doing without; just letting my Muse take over and go with the creative energy sort of thing. Doesn't work all that well for me.
Sigh. I'm one of those 'slough through the brambles, choosing every wrong path possible until I find a clear way through the thorns' kind of guy.

If there is a stupid plot twist possible, I'll find it. I'll work it hard for days until I finally see that it's not going to work. Most of the time, I can't even remember why I choose this slant over any other more likely one. I'm thick, slow and prone to dumb ideas.

But. Without the outline, I'd be wasting all that time writing myself into corners and throwing away all that fine literature!  At least with the outline I can 'see' where the story is going and backtrack before it's a total waste of time and karma.

Well, back to it. I can hear Arlo chewing Cajun gnats and snickering in the background.

Be cool.