Outlining: AKA Sucking the Joy Out of Writing

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

Douglas Adams

English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 – 2001)


I’m working on my novel. The one I started two years ago for NaNoWriMo. I’ve enlisted the help of a friend to push me, and I her, to finish a clean draft by March 1. I think it’s a reasonable goal.  I think it’s doable. Here’s the thing. I really underwrote my novel initially. Meaning I need to add almost double the number of words to make it an acceptable length. That’s a lot more words. Also, it’s a mess. The structure is off. So, I started outlining again. I generally find the outlining process enjoyable, creative even.  But not this time around.

Now that I have a better understanding of structure, I’m having a hard time with it.  I’ve got the first quarter outlined to my liking. I can work with it.  I’ve got the last quarter to my liking. Actually, it really wraps up nice and neat.  I was quite pleased with the ending. It’s that middle half that’s killing me. I know how it starts, I know how it ends, I just need to connect them and I’m having a dickens of a time doing it. So, like all nasty chores that need doing, I’ve given myself a deadline.  (I believe this would be the third time I’ve set a deadline, but let’s just ignore that part.)

This time I’ve told my friend about it and she is tasked with making me stick to it. Also, I’m announcing it here, so feel free to make me stick to it. By Saturday night, I will finish my outline. There. I said it out loud.

So far, it’s not going so well. I’ve done nothing.  I have, however, caught up with all my Facebook friends, been on Twitter more, cleaned out my gmail draft box (apparently the girls like to compose emails), been pinning on Pinterest, blogging, going for walks at 9 at night, and getting to bed on time. Basically, it’s called avoiding.

Well, no more. I have a deadline and it’s time to buckle down and get the dull parts done so I can do more of the fun parts. And hopefully end up with a decent manuscript at the end.

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2 Responses to “Outlining: AKA Sucking the Joy Out of Writing”

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  1. Kristin says:

    Get that outline done. GO GO GO?
    Kristin´s last post ..Hello? Anyone There?