Mitosis (Or, How to Outline When You Suck at Outlining)

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I have always had a love-hate relationship with outlining. On one hand, my writing is more focused and precise when I use one. Editing is certainly easier. On the other hand, it can be disruptive to my creative process. When I start writing something, I often only have a vague idea and a character or three to start. I rarely ever know all the meat and bones of the story going into it. The process of writing for me is also a process of exploration, and I love letting the story unfold naturally. Its how my brain works. I know its how the brains of many “pantser” writers work as well.

So, for me at least, the hardest part of outlining is going from a vague idea with a few general plot points, to a detailed chapter-by-chapter sequence of specific events. For me, it feels very “cart before the horse,” and it squelches that lovely story unfolding process thingy (technical term right there) that I described. But I knew my writing would benefit from outlines, and so, stubborn as I am, I was determined to find an approach to outlining that worked for someone with a brain like mine. Continue reading

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Camp NaNoWriMo Countdown & Preparation

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Today marks the official 10 day countdown to the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I am pretty amped about participating in the spring this year.

Naturally the biggest decision to make each year is what to write about. For me, this will be Book 5 of the House of Crimson and Clover series so I needed to decide how this story would fit into the greater series, what the plot and importance of the plot would be to the greater series and story, and, of course, who would be the feature characters in this story. Since books 2-4 centered around the Deschanels, I decided to switch to the Sullivans for a change. Continue reading