Structure, Sweet Structure

I promised I’d be more faithful at blogging this year, so here’s an update on my post from last week.

I haven’t written anything.

But wait, that doesn’t mean it’s been a useless week. Quite the contrary, I’d say it has been a very good week. While I didn’t start a new chapter (and thus, the second half of the book), I did work on a chapter by chapter outline of the rest of the story, and I came up with a few twists that I like and addressed a few structural questions that had been lingering in my mind. So, all in all, I feel pretty good about the week.

Now I know this has been discussed on my site and elsewhere – for those who followed the ’08 Fantasy Fiction Tour, you might know it was the subject of some debate – but I’m a fan of structure. With BOTB, I had a chapter by chapter outline to guide me from the outset, even though it changed over the course of the series. For the book I’m working on now, I didn’t make a chapter by chapter outline before I began. I launched out with a strong grasp of the central premise and a basic overview of the story as a whole.

I’d say it worked OK, though I might have moved faster in the actual writing if I’d had a clearer idea of where exactly I was going. As I look to finish the book though, I wanted to lay out the rest so I could think through pacing issues and know just where I was going. I feel pretty good about it, and I look forward to getting down to it in February.

5 thoughts on “Structure, Sweet Structure

  • Oh, I’m an awful SotP-er. I have this habit of taking an idea and running with it. Normally that fails quite miserably because I hit a point where I run out of my plot (that really just shows up as I write it, generally) and then I don’t know what to do. Currently I’m struggling with such an issue in the novel I’m attempting to write (key word, attempting).

    I think I find it helpful to have some kind of start to finish outline, but I’d never have the patience to make one chapter-by-chapter.

  • is the new book a stand-alone, or part of a series? Just wondering. glad to hear you’re making progress.

  • This book is intended as the first in a series, so not quite stand alone.

    I find outlines pretty helpful, but there’s always latitude to deviate when creativity strikes, at least to an extent. Certain things are always negotiable, but other, more central elements of the plot, aren’t.

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