Posts Tagged With: snoop lion

Do outlines stifle creativity?

I’m feeling introspective today. Bear with me.

I feel that there are two types of book memories. There are the big memories, like a major plot point, where you look back and think, “Aw man, I never saw that coming, that was so cool!” And there are the little memories, like a line of dialogue you thought was so hysterical you fell off your bouncy ball laughing. Both are important, and both are necessary to create a great story.

I’ll tell you why I’ve been thinking about this. I’m always reading about writers who swear by their outlines. And they have a good point — how can you make sure you include everything you want to include in the story if you don’t have it written down? Unless your memory is unbelievably fantastic, in which case never mind. But I’ve tried making elaborate outlines, and here’s what happens: it becomes a plodding, paint by numbers exercise in soul-sucking futility, and while I hit all the big memories (the plot points), the little memories are much, much harder to come by.

Maybe it’s just me. I’m horribly disorganized anyway, so maybe outlines and I just don’t mix by default. But when I have an outline that I’m trying to turn into a story, I follow it step by step, doing exactly what it says, and I feel like I lose some of the spark that comes from just attacking a project with a handful of characters in your head, and a vague idea of where they’re going to end up.

So when I go back and look over what I’ve written, I’ve hit all the relevant plot points — oh boy, have I hit them. But that’s all the characters do. They’re so focused on getting from one pivotal scene to the next that they never stop to have fun, or say an amusing quip, or do something ridiculous, like have an impromptu game of laser tag and fall into a vat of space jelly.

I feel like outlines stifle me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. At the same time, I’m sure there are perfectly brilliant authors out there who use outlines all the time, and produce stunning pieces of literature. It probably just boils down to personal taste.

My personal strategy is to jot down very brief notes on what will happen in the story, and then make up the details as I go. For example, in Chasing Nonconformity (the sequel to Imminent Danger), I know that the gang will head to the planet Chingu to retrieve something very valuable that they’ve misplaced. I have several plot points down for what they’ll do when they’re on the planet, but other than that, they can really get up to whatever the heck they want. At the moment, Eris has decided to go shoe shopping. And why not? I can always cut it out later if it doesn’t work with the flow of the story.

That’s the beauty of writing a book — you’re the author! You can write whatever you want, and you have no one to answer to except yourself! Well, and your fans. And your friends and family. And the general public. And reviewers. And the …

Maybe I should start that outline after all.


Unrelated media of the day:

I’ll be honest, I haven’t kept track of what I’ve posted under the Unrelated Media section, so I have no idea if I’ve shared this already. Oh well. Don’t watch it if you’ve already seen it! Or do watch it. Whatever floats your tiger-infested lifeboat.

In today’s unrelated media, Buzz Aldrin raps about how awesome it was to be an astronaut.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 99 Comments

116,237 words and counting …

Goose Apocalypse

I’ve fallen super far behind on my work this week, so I only have time for a quick post. Remember how I mentioned that I had to cut 20k words from my manuscript? Well, I’m on Chapter 8 (out of 44), and I’ve cut 5,070 thus far. Huzzah!

Now, when I say “I cut”, I really mean “my mother and I” cut. She’s my editor/manager, and she’s been working on the book for so long that it’s basically hers as well. Not that I’m giving her any of the royalties!!! Muahahaha. I did, however, promise to buy her a boat once I’m rich and famous. Although I’m worried about actually doing that, as she gets sea-sick very easily. I don’t want to gift her with something that will make her ill on a regular basis.

Our basic cutting process (that sounds weird) is for mother to go through a chapter or two of the manuscript and scribble all over it. Then she gives it to me, and we go through the suggested changes together via her laptop-hooked-up-to-the-TV-via-HDMI-cable.

It’s incredibly slow going, but 5k words over 8 chapters is pretty fantastic. I have no idea where all those words came from, although it’s becoming clear to me that I ramble at length when I write.

Our goal is to have the cutting process finished by mid-August, because then we need to get it copy-edited (still haven’t decided by who). Fingers crossed, the edits will be done by the end of August, and then the actual publication process can begin in September. Which, again crossing our fingers, will put the book out sometime mid-October. Just in time for Christmas! Woo!

In other news …

The entire world probably knows this already, but in case you don’t, Snoop Dogg is a recently-converted Rastafarian, has changed his name to Snoop Lion, and will now make reggae music instead of rap.

Thus, for your viewing pleasure, awesome Snoop Lion memes:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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