Thursday, June 9, 2016

Château Soleil Update 15: This Outline Is Useless!

Current word count: 151,482
Chapters done: 45/52
Projected length: 175,046 words

I'm sure I've mentioned once or twice that I'm using an outline and that my outline is falling increasingly out of sync with what I'm actually writing. This isn't a problem, really. The outline is still useful because, more than anything else, it's an emotional map of the story. But the actual story beats I have mapped out aren't proving all that useful anymore--and at this point in the story it was pretty thin to begin with. So I basically have to look at what I have written, note the POV character, imagine what I thought was going to happen and what effect that might have on the reader, and then write something that accomplishes same but gels more with the story I've been writing. I've also been looking ahead at the next few chapters to try to get a handle on what they could be story-wise.

But I haven't been writing any of those changes down. Because I'm an idiot. I knew that I wanted to keep my outline around so I could learn from it (and, hell, for posterity, right?), so I was reluctant to make any changes to it. It only occurred to me recently that I could save off an "old" version and a "current" version separately rather than relying on head-canon. This may seem obvious, because it is. But the reason it never crossed my mind is a major point that I want to reiterate, so I'll make it its own paragraph here.

I'm an idiot.

Thankfully, this hasn't been a problem for me either (the head-canon, that is--being an idiot will haunt me for the rest of my days). Fortunately I haven't forgotten about any of my head-only changes. Or, perhaps more accurately, I haven't missed the changes that I've forgotten about. And since I only have seven chapters left, it's not going to be a problem. In other words, I'm not going to change that thing I've been an idiot about. But this brings me to another point.

I only have seven chapters left! In the neighborhood of 25,000 words.



Kathy Schrenk said...

Did you use a "formula" when you put together your outline, like Dan Wells'?

Kurt Pankau said...

Sort of, but I've got basically three character arcs with their own "formula" interweaving. Broadly it's a three-act structure, but I've put a lot of effort into hiding that.

Kathy Schrenk said...