How many re-writes is to much for an outline? - Page 2


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Thread: How many re-writes is to much for an outline?

  1. #11
    @ dluuni: What do you outline? Do you have an example of a past project you may have abandoned? It could help other writers know what sort of outline typify writers.

    I am curious since I dont typically outline. I want to know what sorts of elements of a story you outline. Some authors do index cards? I am not confident on how to do that. Any insight is appreciated.

    The character may have a motto for example you never reveal. Or you answered some questions. But obviously you hide this from the reader. Anything you wrote beforehand and don't show the reader I suppose is an outline.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  2. #12
    It kinda depends on the style and genre, right? 10 rewrites might be worth your time if you are writing some kinda epic fantasy with 130k words and 7 point of view characters.

  3. #13
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    I write low heat contemporary romance. I can try pulling up a draft outline from the book I'm about to release, but I wouldn't want to put it up in the searchable parts of the forum. Where would I put it? Fiction Workshop?
    Just looked at the outline I have; it's a late first draft outline and my second draft revision outline. It sort of collects notes. The final draft doesn't exactly follow the outline, sometimes characters just don't get a chance to say or do things when I expect, but having the outline means I can make sure it happens.
    My outlines for the next book are more explicitly stated in ways, but I don't feel like putting it up yet.

    The outline doesn't show my whiteboard work, where I go through the plot by major character and viewpoint side by side as I lay out scenes.
    Last edited by Dluuni; November 3rd, 2019 at 04:43 AM.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by J.T. Chris View Post
    I don't know if I've ever gotten outlines "right." There comes a time when you simply have to bite the bullet and get down to business.
    Thank you. Exactly what I was thinking.

    Outlines are a general idea of what you want to do in a writing project. Sometimes the idea evolves in your head, and you have to adjust on the fly as you are writing.

    -JJB
    ​"Strong convictions precede great actions....."

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  5. #15
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    Only the outline? No idea how many times I've had it in each story, but I can say they are worth it and only until that far I'd go. Otherwise it will never end and you will never start.

  6. #16
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    The main things I do is this:

    I start with an idea. A few scenes start to appear in my head. I sketch them out and put them in a rough timeline. I start figuring out how to connect them from a plot perspective, and tack the events down.

    Then I build a timeline from that from the perspective of each of the lovers, the villain(s), and any key major recurring characters. This is whiteboard work for me, quick reactions of each character to current events. If they aren't there, the lines talk about what they are doing or thinking about, and how they feel. Their motives and actions start suggesting other things that have to happen, and those turn into scenes. I do an integrity check on it here.
    Then I start summarizing the individual scenes. Those are the new full outline. One thing I start marking in there is a lot of "?", "!", "LOAD", and "GUNFIRE" tags. In order, adding an unanswered question, dropping an answer to a previous question, adding a detail, and the moment that detail becomes important. Sometimes things get shuffled a bit in this process as I picture each scene.

    Now I have an outline, and I have done a couple of passes over it. Now I can start drafting the darn scenes.

    Now, when it comes time to edit? It's time to reverse outline, then start checking the first outline against it. Plot lines appear that are important.. I have to layer them in, and I do it on the new outline, which turns into my to do list for editing.

  7. #17
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    Something important that occurs to me is this:
    This is a process. I don't just go back to my outline and do another revision. Each cycle of revision is doing a different thing. I'm going down a list of operations, and when I get to the end of that list, I have to draft; I'm not just endlessly revising and polishing. I do the same thing with editing; I do an editing process, but I don't continuously do repetitive edits. Instead, I take several passes, each one meant to clean the document in a different way.

    This means that the process has a natural conclusion. If you don't have a natural conclusion, it's too easy to get stuck in endless revision.

  8. #18
    There is no right or wrong way to do this, what ever works for people. Yet, at some do have to start the real thing, so just don't put it off for ever.
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  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Rojack79 View Post
    So I'm on my third re-write of my outline so far. It seems to be going well and I'm not running into any issues so far. But that leads into my question for you all. How many re-writes did your outline, book, or work take before you got it just right?
    Outlines are organic. It'll change as you begin to write and progress.

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