Outlining and Longer Works

So, I just began writing for the first new project I’ve had in years, a book called Dreamscape. With it, comes new problems. With my first book, Soldier of Nadu, the first iterations had gone through virtually zero outlining, and the book shows it. It’s gone from a stand alone work, to a dystopian Earth, to a part of Nacre Then, which it remains to this day, and I gotta say, its high time to give up on that project. While many elements and the basic plot remains canon to my universe, so much has changed since I first started it. (probably around six or seven years ago at this point. Yeesh) It was high time to start something new.

Not being proficient in writing novels, however, I don’t want to write something in Nacre Then. At least, not something important enough to the major world plot for it to matter whether or not it was “canon”. (If I had written a Nacre Then piece, it would probably not be canon two years later.) So, Dreamscape isn’t in that universe. Heck, it isn’t even sword and sorcery, which as I’ve said is where I’m at home. Dreamscape is a young adult sci-fi piece about dreams, but that’s all I’ll get into for now.

The point of this post is to say that some parts of me are still no different from when I first started writing Soldier of Nadu. For one thing, I don’t like outlining. I hate creating character sheets about the major characters’ heights and weights and what their favorite childhood memory is. Frankly, it kills my drive. One of the major things that always stops my drive to write a longer work is the fact that I have to outline it. Yeah, I’ll have the basic plot and climax mapped out, but I won’t have the middle set up and I won’t have the main characters’ fears planned out (though in Dreamscape‘s case fears are very important to the story). I have the first three chapters outlined, but I don’t know how many chapters I want it to be or even what happens in Chapter Four.

But if I consider it a vital element that needs to be finished before I even start typing, two things will happen. One, I will not do it. That’s the biggest thing. If something unsavory is impeding my way to having fun, a lot of the time I simply won’t put in the effort. Two, actually outlining has, in the past, killed my drive. If I try to break down the door by force, often times I won’t have the energy to continue on, even if I do finish outlining and that door does cave.

Another thing. Often times what has happened in the past is that I will write a piece of the book (i.e. about seven chapters ofSoldier of Nadu) and then life will get in the way and I’ll put the project on an indefinite pause. When I finally get back to it, a year or more will have passed and my skill as a writer will have exceeded substantially the chapters that I had already finished. So, of course, I’ll want to start from the beginning. And the cycle continues.

So I don’t want that to happen to Dreamscape. I’m confident that if I was not so busy with school and work (doing at least one of those literally every day) I would write it. That’s another reason why I want to quit. If I take the summer off of both of those things I’ll have all the time in the world to work on something like that, and right now is the first time in a long while that I’ve been self motivated enough to write, but coincidentally this is also the time that I physically have not had the time to do so.

That being said, Wednesdays have pretty much become the days where I have the most free time. (Almost six whole uninterrupted hours!) So, off to keep writing.

Have a lovely day, and I hope you’re in as good a mood as I currently am. If not, just do it anyway.

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