Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Outline or no outline?

I finished my revisions of Personal Demons for my awesome agent last week and sent my manuscript off to her. I'm a compulsive tinkerer, so It's been really hard to keep out of the manuscript while she copy edits. To that end, I've tried staying busy by submersing myself in book two. After all, if I have to write a synopsis for that book before submitting to editors, I better know what it’s about, right? But it’s turning out to be a bit of a trick since I don’t write with an outline. As a matter of fact, I have no idea where a book is going until it’s there. My characters (and my rock star Muse) are in charge. I don’t always like their choices but, as I've said before, I’m just the poorly paid help with the laptop. And, in the end, their choices always seem to produce an interesting outcome. So I always defer—just get out of the way and let it happen.

That’s a really long way of saying putting together a synopsis for a book I haven’t written yet is turning out to be a challenge.

So I’m curious. Do you know where your book is going before you start writing? Or are you like me, writing by the seat of your pants?

1 comment:

  1. I used to write by the seat of my pants and never outline. It wasn't until I wrote two books with a girlfriend that I started appreciating how much easier the process could be to outline first.
    Having said that, when I write a proposal I have a tendency to write the first three chapters before I write the synopsis. After I've sold a book, I then sit down with my synopsis & I'll outline the entire book by chapter. That way I'm not wavering too far off the path.
    Good luck with book two!
    Julia :)