Outlining-The Intro

Any time I start a new project I have to make the decision whether or not I am going to outline the first draft. Because I hate outlining. I hate it with a fiery passion. I am, what is commonly referred to as a “Pantser” I just write and see where it goes. But, much as I love to do that because it works best for me to keep me writing and help me discover stuff I didn’t know about my characters (and that I don’t discover until I am writing a scene, outline or not) sometimes it means I also hit a wall.

After my last post about losing the voices I was going through documents in my Google Drive and found a story I have tried starting over and over but I’m never happy with how it begins. I have the basic idea where it’s going to go (It’s going to be four books. All revolve around one central character who meets a new secondary character integral to the ending in each individual book)

Where I am mentally right now I could write book 2, 3 and 4. I have a very clear idea of those characters my main character is going to meet, what they are going to teach him and how they are going to do it. I know how to transition between books, I can see the settings in my head (I really want to write book 3’s secondary character)  I even know how the fourth book is going to end.

What I can’t seem to get a handle on is how to get from page 1 to book 2 because the first character he meets is not someone I have as fully flushed out. I feel like he should stay because he is going to take my main character to his second teacher. He is the one who is going to take him out of his small town and teach him about where he came from.

But because I don’t have his ultimate lesson figured out book one has come on sluggishly. I’ve gotten as far as fifty or sixty (maybe more, actually) pages into it and then I went back and started again.

Then I started it again.

Then I started it a fourth time.

So this is where I decide okay: I’m going to Outline. I’m going to break this down, chapter by chapter until I figure out what I need to know so I can write this damn book. (I don’t want to write book 2, 3 or 4 until I write book 1. Book 1 will have major character development and if I skip ahead to where I think my character will be at the beginning of book 2 then I just know I’m going to mess it all up and have to start from scratch again anyway.)

Now I have to figure out the best method of outlining.

Which is what my next several posts will be about.  Different methods of outlining and how they worked for me when I tried to apply them to figuring out this book.

Yay.

Should be lots of fun.

So tell me, how do you outline? What’s your favorite method? Head over to my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EKUauthor and let me know so I can give it a try.

-M-

 

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I Miss the Voices

 

I love to write. I love having whole worlds in my head and finding ways to share those world. I have a couple of stories that are in my head but that I haven’t been inspired to write. I haven’t had any new ideas since I finished The Paths We Take.

And that’s really scary for me. I’ve always been afraid that I wouldn’t have the ideas to actually be a writer. That I had one good story and that was it. Then I would finish a book and the next idea would come and I would have the same fear.

But now I haven’t really had anything to write.

It might be because I’ve gotten out of practice. I haven’t journaled in months. I haven’t written blog posts in even longer.  I haven’t written much of anything.

But  I don’t know what to write. I don’t have anything I want to say.

Usually characters talk to me. Even characters I never write with dialogue I never use. But they have been silent lately.

I miss them.

They’ve been constant companions since I was four and I don’t even know when I lost them or how to get them back…

-M-

World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention day, ending National Suicide Prevention Week. All day I’ve been trying to think about what to say, feeling I should say something.  Then I was working on school and two things hit me.

1.My brother killed himself in February of 2012. He jumped off of a building. He was a bright light in darkness and he took that light away. Not many people loved to laugh as much as he did and not many people could find a reason to laugh in any situation like Aaron.

My brother is not going to know that I have decided to get a degree in Veterinary medicine. That I found happiness in a small vet clinic in South Reno. He’s never going to read any of my completed books which he always wanted to do. He’s never going to see me as a I am now.

2. In November/December of last year I was very suicidal. To the point that I put a bunch of sleeping pills in my hand and counted them over and over while trying to decide whether or not to take them. I was in the worst, most soul crushing job of my life. I had mounted a bunch of medical debt while not even able to pay my bills every month. I felt trapped and alone. My normally bad depression was at an all time low.

I ultimately didn’t kill myself because I couldn’t force my mom to lose two of her children to suicide. It was small but it was enough to go another day. And then I confided in my best friend and that hurt her and that was enough to get through another day. That’s all I had for a while. Little things to force me to wake up another day.

In January I was interviewed for the vet clinic and started February 1st. That was my turning point.

A turning point I almost never saw. A turning point to finding meaning in my life in working with animals. Finding coworkers I love.  Finding a reason to go back to college and feel like I was moving forward in my life.

Depression sucks. Really sucks. It sucks even more coupled with severe anxiety.  And suicide seems like the best way to go. The only light in an endless tunnel of pitch blackness. But if I had died, then I wouldn’t have found the tiny glint of starlight that led into the open.

I miss my brother. I’ve said before and I will say again: he was my soulmate in the family. The soul who read epic fantasy and listened to heavy rock music. The one with whom I could share art that I found.

He would have loved Terry Pratchett and the Blacklist.

There is so much that he will never see and never experience because he couldn’t find the glimmer to help him keep going.

I’m not going to say that it gets better.

It does but that doesn’t help when you can’t see how it can ever possibly get better.

So all I can say is, if you are depressed and suicidal, find the little things. A smile from a friend, a conversation with a stranger online, a movie coming out you are vaguely interested in.

One day at a time. It’s all you can do.

And if you can’t find that, think of my brother. Think of Aaron. So full of life and love…

Who will never laugh again. Who will never hear the new albums from his favorite bands. He will never see his step children grow up. He will never see what becomes of his siblings or their children.

And if he had managed to hold on one more day…

Who knows?

 

-M-