Okay, so the dealio from the Master Class and James Patterson (and he has 76 bestsellers, so I’m going to listen to him) is that I need to write an outline. Remember back in elementary school, when we were taught to outline our stories. Well, newsflash, pantsing isn’t working for me any longer and I’m going back to the basics.
So, I have outlined (WIP) has to be a work-in-progress because the title may change and who’d have thunk, it has been an incredible help. I have 28 chapters (and growing). James says once you have your chapters outlined “start writing” and that’s what I plan on doing. It helps to have a road map. But like any road map, I want to feel comfortable taking detours that may add better conflict, better suspense and offer a better story.
My initial trepidation was that I would feel too locked in with an outline and that has not been the case. I actually feel that I have a better handle on what I want to do with the story. For example, there is scene around chapter 26 that I know needs to be foreshadowed in chapter 5 or 6, much earlier than I knew or even had an idea about. Without the outline, I may have missed that gaping hole. And even though I have an outline, I am not confined. I feel a flexibility that new ideas may crop up as I’m writing and I may want to side road it and now have the tools to get back to the main highway. Yeah, I’m having fun with the metaphors.
My next step is to take everything that I hand wrote and transfer it to notes in Scrivener so that I can start writing the chapters. My goal is to write a chapter a day. I’m gonna hedge here since I am not going with an actual word count per chapter. Some, I’ll complete in one seating and others may take a little longer.