BEDM #8: the wood queen

(BEDM* is my attempt to blog each day of May – just to see if I can.)

Just a quick post today because I’m hard at work on the outline for The Wood Queen – the sequel to The Iron Witch. I have to say, I am really struggling. Thankfully, the fabulous Agent M has offered to take a look before I submit it to my editor. I just don’t find it comes naturally to plan things out in advance. But that doesn’t stop me from trying, especially when I don’t have any choice in the matter. 😉

Part of the problem this time around is that I have too much story, and I can’t decide what to leave out. So I end up trying to put all of it into the synopsis and it starts to read a lot like: “…and then this happened… and then this… and then THIS!” I’m also deciding whether or not I can use another POV in this book – there was only one in The Iron Witch – but the second book might need two. Or three? I’ve never written a book with multiple-POVs before.

Actually, even writing this totally short and crappy blog post has helped: I need to simplify what I’m doing with this outline. I always discover the story details as I’m writing – that’s a major part of the creative process for me. I need to find a way of compromising here, though… Just stick to the Big Issues and leave the rest for when I write the book itself. I’m such a perfectionist; whenever I work on something I get so involved and can’t let it go until I’ve covered everything. But for now I just need to focus on the main plot points and areas of character development, that way I can discover all the other cool stuff when I write the book. Um… wish me luck? *bites nails*

What about you guys? Do you outline your writing projects?

*Blog Every Day May

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20 Responses to BEDM #8: the wood queen

  1. ThisViewOfMine says:

    I think you should go and try it with more then one POV. I think its a great way to show a broader scope of whats happening without loading the story down with unneceriary dialogue. Or something like that… XP

    I love books with more then one POV. The series that im reading now has MANY POVs. I mean a LOT. It’s the Malazan series by Steven Erikson. I don’t know how the man manages it.

    • Kaz says:

      That part about multi-POV being “a great way to show a broader scope of what’s happening…” is actually REALLY helpful. You iz wise! 😀 Cheers.

      I’ve never read a Steven Erikson book. *lowers voice* They scare me… there are so many now, and they have lists of characters and… maps! LOL

      • ThisViewOfMine says:

        Wise? Mhh.. not even close.

        It is a long series. There will be 10 when finished. For me though, I have plenty of time (I’m home schooled). I’m SO obsessed with the series. *fan girl scream* Lol, I don’t think i’ve ever used the maps and glossary more then with this series. It IS needed!

  2. Brian says:

    Well… I think you’re on to something. Simplicity. The book is sold. They loved your first one. So I don’t think their expecting a solid, by the numbers, outline. I’m betting they just want to be sure that you’re aware of the major plot points, enough to make a book. And, from what I’m hearing, you are.

    I’m certain editors are very aware that much of the story comes during the writing process. More so for some authors. So you’ll be fine.

    I always veered away from the outline, fearing it would squash my creativity, but know where I’m headed helps… it’s how I get there that’s fun.

    • Kaz says:

      You’re right (of course). And I DO know the major plot points… I’m just having ridiculous trouble communicating them in a synopsis without getting bogged down in detail. *sigh* But I’ll get there.

      Thanks, Brian.

  3. Yolanda says:

    Good luck! 🙂

    I find outlining my whole project a little hard, too. Personally, I like to call my prep work: notes. Otherwise I get stuck. I must admit, I plan my stories a lot more than I used to but it’s not until the actual writing happens that things actually fit together. That’s when the real magic happens and other things pop up out of nowhere. 🙂 Heck, with the story I’m revising now things are still morphing and clicking together for the third draft! lol.

    Have a great weekend!

    • Kaz says:

      Notes… Yeah, that sounds better.

      And I’m the same! Third, fourth, fifth drafts… heh. Things change all the time! 🙂

  4. Tez Miller says:

    I indeed outline. My brain and I…we don’t get along 😉 I don’t trust my eejit brain to make things up on the spot upon demand – tend to panic 😉 So I do as much of the thinking ahead of time as I can. So when it comes to writing time, I know what to write about.

    Besides, from what I’ve heard, plotters go through less drafts, because they planned earlier how the story would come together 😉

    • Kaz says:

      LOL! Me and my brain don’t get along too well, either. 😉

      Yes, it’s true that plotters go through less drafts. Sadly, I am just not a natural plotter. I am a multi-draft kinda girl, but I wish I wasn’t sometimes.

  5. Angie says:

    I just have to say I love the title THE WOOD QUEEN. Evokes all sorts of great images for me. 🙂 Good luck!

    • Kaz says:

      Thank you!

      Currently, I’m trying to come up with a title for a third book. Not that I’ve sold a third book… I’m just wondering what it would be called if there WAS one. 😉

  6. Naomi says:

    Good luck!

    I’ve tried in the past to plan novels out and found it really kills my desire to actually write the book. I like not really knowing where I’m going!

  7. Harry Markov says:

    The general answer is yes. I create an outline, because I usually have the beginning and the ending, but the middle is foggy as hell. I like to add these bones as to bridge between the two. However, to be honest, there have been moments, where outlines have had to be scratched and redrawn anew, becaus the story has altered. I am not a fan of the detailed synopsis type outlines. I go with basic note taking to add structure. Because I am not sure what will happen, but at the same time I need a guideline to see where to head.

    • Kaz says:

      Yeah, it sounds like you have a good balance going on there. Basically, my natural way of writing is to have the ideas; to whatever research and note-making that is needed from that research; think a LOT; find images to represent my characters; think some more; know the first scene; know the pivotal scene that represents a major turning point… and then start writing.

      *lowers voice* I prefer not to know the ending when I start, but that is unusual. It’s also frowned upon by editors. 😉

  8. Dan_Phi says:

    Yeah, nothing too inspirational to offer here, but I’ll go in on the wishing luck part 😉

  9. Leisa says:

    Good luck with it! I’m not really an outliner, but I do have to do some planning before I start writing. I usually just write a plot summary in the MC(‘s) POV and jot down notes on the other characters. It gives me enough of an idea of the story to know if it has any major holes and I’m still free to explore as I write.

    • Kaz says:

      I definitely need that ‘freedom to explore’ when I write the actual book. I think the best kind of planning is very simple, like yours. It’s a good compromise.

  10. Fiona says:

    For my first two novels, no, I didn’t really outline until I got to the end, then I NEEDED to know what was happening otherwise everything would have gone wrong. But for my third – which is a sequel to the first novel – I outlined the general plot and key scenes I’ve already planned, and I’ll work around that. I can never skip chapters and write ahead, because I always end up making up things as I go that needed to later be included in the plot. That’s part of the fun, the scenes that catch you by surprise! I have no idea how some people manage to outline every aspect of their plot before writing, I prefer to make some of it up as I go along.

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