I have a post coming out tomorrow on NaNo WriMo. I’m not a fan. I’m a big fan of self editing over writing, even though I’ve hit 10k in a day several times ignoring all editing to my later dread, and loose outlines to control plot structure and sub plots.
Today I had another migraine. That makes 4 in 4 days. It’s exceptionally rare for me to get them these days, so 4 is statistically bizarre. As a result, my creativity is at an all time low this week. Writing a creative word is actually impossible since four days of pain has hit my body like a truck. Instead, I did the next best thing. Outline.
I’m not big a believer in outlines. I’m really not despite what my daily accomplishment is. But I think that they’re useful. I know where my book is going and how I want it to end and key passages written already even though they’re at the end of the book. They help when used in a loose format, in my opinion that is. UpMeDownMe is 100% organic, Molly Parker is 50-50 organic-outline. How I’ve found outlines as useful is that I can write fun phrases and key paragraphs and then figure out a way to work them in as I organically write up to that point, or break them apart and expand on them. Writing organically doesn’t have much thought for foreshadowing either. It took multiple revisions of UpMeDownMe to get the over arcing plot (of which I’m unsure that it exists) and philosophy (what nihilistic remains there are) to some sort of acceptable coherence.
Now I’ve figured out most of the main points of Molly Parker and her erotic adventures. Loneliness, erotic adventures, the early stages of a healthy relationship. How that’s going to be contrasted with the adventures. What constitutes healthy sexual freedom and what total abandon can result in (though exaggerated for drama – imagine a swooshing hand and breathy delivery for that). What a relationship based on sex looks like and what one based on common (though boring) experiences looks in comparison and through the eyes of someone experimenting in different forms of sex. There is also so much sex. I love it. I can’t wait to write at least 8 sex scenes including an orgy. That’s half the fun of this book. I don’t care if it’s crap, I get to learn how to write every sex scene possible to catalog for later use.
For the rest of the night I get to sit in a dark room with my tablet and read Fifty Shades of Grey for research (secretly, I wish I was Anastasia Steele). I know, that’s hardly research, but I need to see how romance novels talk and are formatted and what I want to grab. Also, all the different euphemismismisms there are for cock, dick, and penis. Hardness, that’s one of my favorites. Bulging manhood is also great. I wish I had bulging manhood. Mounds. What an amazingly sad word for breasts. Honey, your mounds look stunning tonight. God, if I ever said that to my girlfriend I probably wouldn’t have sex just out of the weirdness that would erupt (hah!) from the situation.
In all seriousness, I am an adult. And in all seriousness there is a method to all of this as well as insight.
There’s a bizarre trend of having a double spaced break between paragraphs to signal the shift in subject matter, only to then have the small group of paragraphs between breaks serve as a small aside to the original plot. The way that it’s used is often confusing since there is a radical change from one scene of action to another without a transitioning paragraph. Even just a sentence would be helpful. I think it’s lazy – very lazy actually. It’s like the authors couldn’t be bothered to write another paragraph and instead create a choppy feeling to the flow of action.
There are almost always three act structures too. With looooong second acts of episodic adventures that amount to little in terms of character development and are really just characters doing things for filler.
I’m mostly trying to lift the language. It’s hard to write like that. It’s fun, but hard, and painful to claw my way out and ruins my writing for a day. This is where the outline is handy (and why I created such a detailed one). I fall into the ridiculous prose for a day and write a chapter or two if I’m really feeling on, then slip back the next day into knowing how to write. I didn’t do this with the first two chapters and it took a long time to undo the damage.