Sunday, September 23, 2007

August 20, 2007—Developing my outline

Well, so much for my declared intention yesterday to take a break from the book. Last night I was thinking about how much preparation has to come before the rewriting, and I just couldn’t resist starting that preparation. So my new plan is just to spend an hour every morning on that.

Essentially, my plan—and what I started doing today—is to go through a chapter at a time and identify all the stuff you hear other authors saying they put on index cards so they can lay them out on the floor and move them around—plot elements, character development and theme. What’s happening or needs to happen in this chapter?

Except I’m using the tables function on Microsoft Word. I have a pretty little table started with columns for all those elements a row for each chapter and rows for notes to guide the rewriting.

I think it will be useful like this: Say I’m looking at Chapter 8 and I realize that some aspect of the character hasn’t been set up to warrant his behavior at that point. I can look back at my plot and character elements in previous chapters and think about how to add to or improve upon those.

Now, back to planning my classes . . .

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