marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

NaNo or not

I even know the answer this year:  if and only if I get the outline done!

Which means it's none too soon to contemplate.  Two years ago I did, technically, get the outline done before November.  Even a day or two earlier.  In hindsight, however, I had not gotten it detailed enough.  The last section was like pulling teeth. (Not exactly helped by the fact that I did it out of November to be sure.) 

Which can be interesting, because my teachers would really disapprove:  I don't even try to keep all the things of the same importance on the same level.  True, there's only one level, but detail varies a lot.  C. J. Cherryh's technique would not work for me -- first she writes an outline, then she writes a more detailed outline, then a still more detailed outline, and so on, until she finds herself putting in dialog, which makes it a first draft.  Me, I've been known to put in dialog into the very first outline.  How else can I be sure of getting that exact and gemlike line, or even if I'm just putting down that gist, that exact exchange between two characters for maximum drama?  You never know, I might never manage to recapture that first spark of inspiration.

Sometimes you've just got to play it by ear.

Tags: dialog, outlining, writing flow, writing technique

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