Thursday, October 28, 2010

Outline (Shudder)

            To quote Hannibal from the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together!”
Our plan: finish Chapter 24, and get deeply into 25. We did even better—after hammering 24 into place and getting into 25, we were out of novel to revise, and had to switch gears back to production. We’re nearing the end, and the big question that remains is this: How do we pull together all the loose ends?
As previously indicated, we’re not fans of outlining—it totally inhibits spontaneity. The book has been a joy ride up until now, precisely because we didn’t know what was going to happen to the characters next—just like it will be for readers of our finished novel. Each chapter unfolded to us organically with a sense of humor and calculated orneriness.
            So, most of our meeting turned into a brainstorming session full of “What if?” “Where is (insert character name) when this is going on?” and “That has to happen during the day, and currently it’s night, so we have to move or rewrite it.”
            Larry squirmed, paced, and muttered, while I pecked on the computer and jotted notes on a legal pad. We both had our heads in the game, and were determined to plan our ending (dare I use the word outline?), so we’d know which scenes we needed to work on, and in which order, so we can wrap up 25 with a sense of direction, and with momentum, move on to 26.
            As much as I cringe to say it, outlining at this point is a MUST. There are too many ends to tie up, too many characters doing too many things, and we do want it to end certain way, which both of us agreed on a long time ago. So have had the end game in sight for months—getting there with all the players in the place at the right time is our current challenge.
            And we think it’s whipped. I typed up my notes and shot them off in an e-mail to Larry, so each of us, with an outline (shudder) in hand, can jump in and pick a scene to write as it moves us.
            Okay, now somebody move me…

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