Thursday, October 30, 2008


I liked Lindi's term she used in her blog the other day. She said she was postless. And that's exactly how I feel right now. My brain is tired. I spent 2 days this week writing a scene-by-scene outline of a book I haven't written yet. I did it so I could (hopefully) more easily write a synopsis. It's hard to do when you have no idea what's going to happen! So I spent 2 days (about 24 hours total writing time) and ended up with a 25-page, single-spaced document. I emailed F.A.I.T.H. bloggers and told them I basically wrote a book in 2 days! :)

I wrote a paragraph for each scene that'll be in the book--some of those paragraphs as long as a half page--and even included bits of dialogue. And since I was writing straight through (with some pre-planning already done), it was like creating from scratch in one huge hunk of time. It worked out great for me since I like to write when I get on a roll, when I have little interruption. I'm thinking I may keep doing this for future books. I imagine it'll make the writing go a lot faster, too!

So do you do anything like an outline before starting? (I know Angie must for non-fiction!) Or do you usually write your synopsis after you write the story? Because if you always wait until after, you need to be thinking about learning to write one beforehand. You'll need to so you'll have it as a selling tool.


  1. Missy,
    If I wrote a 25 page single spaced outline I'm afraid I would send that to the is my finished ms!
    I so love seeing how the book unfolds, hence I have a hard time outlining. But I'm doing better on charactization before I start writing...a little better.

    And as far as synopsis goes, I still find the method of Randy Ingermansoll (spelling?) the easiest way to go. Starting with the five sentences then turning them into paragraphs. But I've only done that after I've writen a book. Maybe I should try it now...while I'm still at the beginning of a new book.

  2. I used to write like Lindi, creating the outline after writing the book, but over the years I've changed.

    First, before I can even write an outline I have to do a character sketch. If I don't know my characters I can't write an outline. Then I write a very brief outline--five to six lines of major events in each chapter. Then I create and write the book around that.

    And I can't write a book without a working title. It will eat at me if I don't have a title of some sort.

  3. On my first ms I wrote the synopsis after writing the book. Ugh! It's too easy to get bogged down in the details then and to difficult to determine what really needs to be said. Don't know if I'd go so far as a scene-by-scene outline, but hey. . .never say never :-)

  4. I'm a true SOTP writer, I think. I mull over an idea, pray on it, let it formulate in my head. Then, I sit in front of my computer and pound it out. Seriously. In two weeks I had over 60,000 words.

    Sure, it was rough and needs some serious work...but let me tell you, it works to get it out. THEN, I go back an outline and a time line. I even do some of the house, floor plan, etc. I put more flesh on the characters, shift things around...then, after I'm done with that, I usually have about 75k.

    Not sure if that's right, I'm still we'll see, right? Thanks for the post, Missy.

  5. Lindi, I felt like I wrote a book by the time I finished! LOL I wonder if they'd accept it? :) As for the Snowflake method, I think you should go for that on the new book!

    Jenn, I spend a lot of time on characters before starting. Sometimes a few weeks. And I used to really need that perfect title. Now that they've changed my first two, I don't spend much time worrying about it. My file for the current book says Gregory and Sarah. Real creative! LOL But I did eventually come up with a title. I'm thinking they may keep it since I haven't heard from my editor about it. :)

    Mindy, I agree about writing the synop after the fact. I put in everything but the kitchen sink. then I go back through it cutting several times. I found, though, that using that chapter outline was just as bad. My synop came out 18 pages!! Yikes. Too long.

    Lynn, that's amazing that you wrote your first draft so quickly!! Woo hoo!! You'll be all set for making that first sale. They'll like how quickly you can produce a book. :)


  6. I meant to say I'm late checking in today because I had class, then got my hair cut and colored (had to hide those white roots!), got pampered with a pedicure (ahhhh), went to vote (early voting only took about 15 minutes), and then went to the grocery. Oh, and had lunch with hubby during there somewhere. I was actually late picking up my kids because I squeezed so much in!


  7. For this book, non-fiction, I'm trying a new way. I'm writing the chapters independently because each topic is really in its own world.