Another attempt at novel structure

Another attempt at novel structure

(Today’s post is just brief musing over my novel rewrite.)

David Lee Summers wrote a cool post on his blog called Music Evoked Imagery. I won’t steal his thunder by explaining it – just pop over and have a read. Anyway, one thing that he mentioned is the fact that he likes to outline the novels that he writes. For me that is something mystical. I have written so many outlines and everything just falls apart as soon as my characters start thinking for themselves.

“What’s that?” I hear you ask?

Well, the writers among you probably know what I mean. As you write a character they almost become real in your mind and you begin to see how they will act and react in certain circumstances. Hence you may have the outline say that independent Miss X will fall for arrogant Mr Y at a certain party, but once you put them together there it becomes obvious that an argument is what would really happen. And so that is what you write. And suddenly the outline is broken.

So in a comment to this I wrote “My outlines tend to crash and burn too quickly 😕”

David encouraged me with: ” can relate to that, though I’ve learned to say “never surrender!” :)

So tonight I have sat down and written another outline for Pari’s novel. And I was actually delighted by the outcome. I had a few sudden moments of inspiration.

“But hang on,” I hear to cry. “You’ve already finished the novel. You’re just splitting it into sub novels for different characters.”

Yep. True. But I have always be dissatisfied with the overall plot for Pari. A lot of her actions seemed like over-reactions and did not make sense to me with my reader’s hat on. It was just that I needed her to do certain things. I also had a lot of empty spots. I have now filled those. And I had a subplot about her with a conclusion that seemed fairly contrived. Well, I think that I have fixed that too.

Alas, now that I have some quality ideas I can’t tell you dear readers. It would mean spoilers.

So that has cheered me up. I feel that I have some traction, some direction. A big thanks to David because I had given up on outlining and I approached this reluctantly. If nothing else it has given me some good ideas.

OK – tomorrow I will try to write up my evening in Amsterdam :)

regards

Greg

PS: for anyone who is interested, the header picture was a female Genesis 2 model with hair, rendered in DAZ Studio, imported into Photoshop, with the Graphic Pen filter applied.

4 Comments


  1. “I have written so many outlines and everything just falls apart as soon as my characters start thinking for themselves.”
    Ahh, yes. They keep doing that to me, too! Isn’t it annoying? You come up with that perfect, structured outline, and they go “nope, we’re doing something else” :D
    I once had a character literally blow up my plot by throwing a spell which wiped out the attacking enemy… and every other living thing in the area. It totally made sense to him, in the heat of the moment. The ensuing environmental catastrophe, however, put a quick end both to the war he was fighting and to my plot outline.

    Good luck with the rewrite! May it be one of the final ones :)


    1. Thanks :) It’s an astonishing phenomenon when we find ourselves writing our characters like that :)


  2. I’m happy you’re getting closer and closer to the “Perfect Possible Future” of Pari’s story =)
    The “Perfect Possible Future” is actually a quote from the Andromeda show where it wasn’t used in a particularly positive light, but it doesn’t really matter.


    1. LOL – I looked up the quote :)

Comments are closed.