Outlines are Back In

My attempt to not employ my usual outline strategy didn’t go over well. Took me three weeks to write a whole 17 pages. That sounds like a lot to many of you. For me, I can more than that in just a week, and that’s with my current time constraints. One night last weekend, I took down two pages of notes off the wall and converted a small portion of them into an outline. Five pages were hashed out shortly after. So now I have more of a clue as to how my writing brain works.

I’m stressing over writing book three, Determination. I know I’ll do well, but I have this fear that I’m going to do a terrible job of it, that the book will be disappointingly short and that it’ll lack a healthy story arc. I’ve never felt this way when writing before, so I’m doing a spectacular job of confusing myself with this unanticipated layer of stress.

My writing is one of the few remaining things I have faith in. I have learned a ton about writing in the past few years. My characters steer the plot now (not obvious in book 1), and my heart and soul go into every character I help bring into existence. This story will be good simply because it’s written from the heart, and I believe the trilogy will strike a chord with readers. In addition, there is a love story but, as my test readers are finding out in book 2, not a typical one. There are too many boy-gets-girl stories where it’s only a matter of time before the boy and girl get together. I’m not retelling that predictable tale.

A love story is woven into my trilogy because giving and receiving love are the two most powerful aspects of being human. A good example of what I find to be a satisfying fantasy story with a little romance woven in is Ilona Andrews’ urban fantasy Kate Daniels series. There are five books so far, and the sixth one his being fleshed out at the moment. The first book is called Magic Bites. This series is one of my favorites of all time.

The first two chapters of book three are done. Word count is at a modest 5200. I keep having two-second-long freak outs every time no loading bar pops up when I save my document. The ms is too darn short to warrant one for now. Don’t mind, blonde, air headed and absentminded me. In a bit of a nutty mode.

And one final thing to add: I hope to setup a website for myself sometime next year. In it I wish to include bonus content that doesn’t belong in the final versions of my books. If I do my job right, readers will look at the published work and not be able to imagine the story being told any better way, that there couldn’t possibly be huge chunks of content removed beforehand, etc. I have a few chapters from book one that might be of interest, and one particular chapter from book 2 that doesn’t progress the story or develop my characters one iota, yet should still be an enjoyable read. In addition to bonus content, I wonder if people would get a kick out of seeing rough drafts of mine from a billion years ago, samples of writing that are embarrassingly terrible. Might be a hoot, and might even be inspirational to other writers to keep at it.

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About Angela Macala-Guajardo

Author, teacher, soon-to-be full time writer for two companies. Also a lover life in the Arizona desert, puppy butt wiggles, and kitties purring away on my shoulder.
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