A novel idea and it’s outline

Hello folks.  Yesterday I told you all about the unlikely inspiration that I received from an aerial assault by a menacing crow.  Well, the idea that was born of the crow’s attack has begun to take shape.  I must say that I am very excited about the beginnings of this idea for a novel.  As of right now, I have never been able to finish any attempt at writing a novel.  I have slogged through many a short story and a passel of flash fiction, but the novel has always been my stumbling block.  Don’t get me wrong, it is my dream to actually start and finish a novel; I just haven’t had much luck with follow through.

Hopefully, my luck with that is changing.  I began my novel outline today and was amazed at the story that began to unearth itself.  It was like a tiny fossil that, as my chisel worked, began to take shape into quite the prehistoric beast!  The ideas were flowing, I got some basic character sketches hashed out, and even a couple of subplots.  I think that I am going to push this outline as far as I can go.  This might be what was missing from my previous attempts at cranking out that elusive novel.  I have never worked an outline before.  Normally, I just plug away as I go, but that has never worked out for the best.  Yes my friends, it seems like the outline is the WAY TO GO.

The novel will be fantasy, but I want to be careful to stay away from cliches and already-been-done story-lines.  Wish me luck while I uncover this fossil…or I guess in this case it would be more appropriate to say-while I hatch this crow’s egg.

9 thoughts on “A novel idea and it’s outline

    • Thank you very much. I could barely sleep last night. As I tried, more and more ideas kept coming. It was nice, but I am feeling it this morning from lack of sleep.

  1. Glad you’ve got a new story taking shape.

    I love the idea of “unearthing” a story like an archaeologist. But, I think the whole good twin/bad twin angle you’re working would be interesting as well. Even if it has been done before. My favorite is Cain and Abel but Josh and… could be great, too. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciated the comment.

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog and the encouraging comment. I hope the outlining goes well. From my experience of a long thesis and various attempts at short form, it’s good to have a plan but, as with life, highways can be dull and connecting flights can be missed. Don’t let it become too rigid, is what I’m trying to say.

    Hope your daughter is recovering well.


    • Thanks for the comment, the advise, the concern (for my daughter), and the visit. I’m using the outline sparingly, I hope. Mainly to keep moving from point a to b. It is good to snag some constructive advice. I hope that I do not allow it to become rigid and clunky. Thanks again.

  3. Josh,

    I thought I’d have a look at what you’re up to – returning the favour means I can reciprocate your encouragement for my article work. On starting a novel; I’ve just finished the final draft of one. It may be that something I say will provoke you to see where your way lies.

    I begin with a story to explore. Explore, not tell. If I know the story before I put pencil to paper (which is how I begin), I won’t actually write a word. What’s the point of spending a couple of years or whatever telling myself what I know already? For me writing is a way to explore what I think about something: how a relationship between two very different people will work out; what our world might be like with another few decades of Wars against Terrors… whatever I’ve been thinking about during a certain period. I’m fascinated by how much everyone in the West works, and how little happiness many of the same people present, which may lead to a novel in the future.

    Then I start, blast through a first draft – I keep writing, I don’t go back to change things, to make it “right”, because if I did I’d never get to the end of the draft. And what is the purpose of the first draft? To discover what the story is.

    Then it’s time – after a break of a few months to rest by doing other work – to go back and begin the literary work: shaping, cutting out episodes or characters, changing the focus of the story, forming a coherent text that someone might be interested to read. Stop. Another break.

    The final draft is about deepening the text, re-imagining (as I call it) each scene, so that I release the maximum emotional content of the text, at the same time polishing the language.

    A final read-through to get the “music” of the writing right, make it consistent [the single task I have left on the current book], and – hopefully – it’s done.

    Not how you or many other writers do it, but then we each have our way to get us to sit at a desk and later a screen for hundreds of hours while others are watching Mexican telenovelas.

    All good wishes for your work.


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