Don’t Fix What Ain’t Broke

Isn’t that how the saying goes?

Anyway, after writing 21k words for my upcoming novel, I decided to start over and this time, follow the outline to the letter. This will be my fourth try, third since I got my outline fine-tuned by a pro. I knew it would take some getting used to, especially with the pants-er in me rebelling and deviating from the script, but after looking at my current manuscript and realizing that there’s no way I can even tie it to the arc I’d already plotted months earlier, I knew it was time to start over. I was simply spinning wheels and going nowhere.

Outlines work for a reason, and it’s about time I follow it. Even my poor characters don’t know how to act…

Speaking of characters, here’s the latest teaser I made for Breaking the Rules:

I know there’s a lot of angst, but it’s a romance, I promise!

So this weekend, I’m finalizing my taxes. Yup, I waited until the last minute and wish me luck. And then after that, I dive right back into rewriting everything from scratch. And that includes not copying and pasting older passages from the first three or four versions because that’s how this whole mess started anyway. I just have to start from the beginning and work with the outline posted right underneath the chapter so I see it every second I’m writing.

After I’m done with this story, I may or may not write a prequel novella but that’s a huge maybe because I’ve got four other books to work on before the summer is over.

I did find time to take walks this week and take pictures of the flowers blooming around the neighborhood. I never thought I’d love orange but I do love yellow-orange roses, it seems. I picked the exact same shades for my wedding ten years ago.

Oh, and if you’re an author looking for inexpensive covers (as low as $13 each), my cover guy is having an amazing sale. Get 5 covers for $75 and 10 for $135. I think it’s an awesome deal and if I didn’t already have 34 covers plus 10 more in a package deal I bought from someone, I’d be all over it.

Oh, but I lie. I already bought five more…

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Chick lit or dragon shifters? Oh, the choices! (not the covers I bought)

In other news, I’ve unfortunately fallen off the Share Your World bandwagon but not the Outer Space on Film Blogathon which started today. I’ll post mine tomorrow; it’s about one of my all-time favorites, Ridley Scott’s Alien (before 3, 4, 5, 6, and everything else that came after including Prometheus and that last one I’ll call David and David). Nothing ever beats the original… or the second Aliens movie.

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The last supper before the you-know-what

What about you? How’s your weekend?

12 thoughts on “Don’t Fix What Ain’t Broke

  1. Very curious how this process is going for you. You sound committed to outlining, despite the challenges. Was there something in your previous writing experience that made you decide you wanted to try outlining? What is it now that’s making you stick with it, even as it requires you to start over? I enjoyed your post. And your website!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I actually started out outlining over 20 years ago. I followed the Marshall Plan, The Hero’s Journey, and Syd Field’s Story, and I still have my notebooks filled with all my outlines in the garage. The only problem was that after I’d write 5K words of the outline, I was done. I had no interest writing the novel at all because there was nothing there to keep me on my toes. After all, I knew the ending.

      It wasn’t until I started writing again and using story prompts this time that I realized I enjoyed pantsing much better. I didn’t know what was ahead and that kept me guessing, like chasing the white rabbit. I knew the structure of the story from my screenwriting days but I didn’t have written down on a sheet of paper. I waited only for my characters to tell their stories and I managed to write over 7 novels in about 3 years. Some are still sitting in my hard drive waiting to be edited but it made me so prolific. But I also have some novels that are unfinished because either I got stuck or I started on something else and forgot what I wanted for the earlier draft when I went back to it.

      This year, I decided to be efficient with my time and write more books. But to do that, I have to learn how to outline and that’s where the pantser and the plotter butt heads. I wrote an outline and got too attached to it that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I hired a plotting person to help me untangle the mess and fine-tune it and she did an amazing job. Unfortunately, I was fighting the outline the entire time and ending up with a bigger mess. So today, after realizing I could either toss the outline away or stick to it, I chose the latter and am starting over from scratch. I already have 4 short novels outlined with their covers ready to go but first, I have to finish this big one 🙂

      Sorry for the novel of an answer. How’s your writing?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks for sharing your process. I think outlines are great. I have a couple of books outlined, one with 20k words and one with 14k, but I got bored and need to write from the top of my head and my heart. I’m new to this, but your words resonate! Good luck on this new rewrite! 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome, Phillswrites! I love outlines but I also love the way characters come to me and there’s no rhyme or reason to their entrance, only that I have to take down their stories fast and I fall in love with them. That was my other problem with this outlined story. The outline silenced them inside my head but I think after 4 months of silence, they’re finally talking.

        I can’t wait to read your stories. Loved the first part of Campfire Chronicles and will be reading more of it tonight!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not a writer but a prolific reader. I see the value of outlines when I read a complicated novel. I also could see myself following an outline but being persuaded by my characters to “take a detour” before returning to the outline. So I guess I can see the outline morphing and changing it’s shape as the book moves on. Yet it’s still there to guide you as you work to finish the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup. My original outline was a mess because I usually just let the characters do the talking, but I’ve noticed that when it’s a series and there are books before the one you’re writing, an outline becomes important because there are just way too many details in your head… or mine, at least. It doesn’t help that I have 4 other books waiting to be written and so they’re all vying for real estate inside my head as well. The outline that I had someone help straighten out is, now that I looked at it again, perfect the way it is. But that’s only if I follow it explicitly. Any more tweaking and I’ll be rewriting it the fifth time lol

      Liked by 1 person

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