How To Drive A Writer Crazy
So I pointed out to DH today that he hadn't read my latest, and seeing as how he's TAKEN OVER MY KINDLE, I asked him if he wanted me to send my latest to MY Kindle for him to read.
"No, that's okay, I'm reading this. It's nice and easy, relaxed." (Referring to one of the Christmas Harlequins, which he loves.)
"What do you mean? My stuff isn't easy?"
"Well, it's kind of intense."
"Intense? What do you mean by intense? What do you mean my stuff isn't easy to read?"
"I don't know. When I read, I like to kick back and be entertained."
"My stuff doesn't entertain you?"
"Yes," he laughed, "it does."
At which point he insisted on eating a caramel and not speaking on the subject anymore. He sure knows how to drive a writer crazy. I'm pretty sure he enjoys it.
A Better Outliner or A Better Guesser?
Anyway, after Amy's great post on the "Twiwrite Zone," (hah!) I thought about my recent use of outlines. Sorta.
You know how, after you've written enough stories, you can pretty much see what's going to happen in a whole novel after reading the first chapter or so? It's not that it's predictable, it's just that you know how things work. For example, mystery writers can almost always guess whodunnit, because they know how a mystery ticks. Yes, things can be twisted and there can be lovely surprises, but there are always hooks and hints that give a clue as to what will follow and how it will end.
If you open a can of worms, you've gotta eat them by the end.
Anyhow, I've outlined, lately. Sparsely. My outlines (little notes, really) for a 52,000 word novella/novel/whatever generally fit on a 3x6 inch piece of paper. Recently I outlined a whole novella for the first time ever, and then accidentally deleted it. *sigh*
I decided it was not meant to be.
One thing I've noticed, is that my characters never stray from my notes anymore. I don't think it's that I'm a better outliner. I think it's just that I try to hook and plant so much in the beginning, that the rest of the novel is kinda predetermined once I've written the first chapter or so.
And also like the mystery writers, I can guess what my characters are going to do. So I'm guessing accurately, not outlining.
Twyla Tharp, famous dance choreographer, has a great book on creativity. In the video below she talks about art, creativity, failure, and money. She's very practical, experienced, and highly creative. Her book is worth checking out, and her words below are wise:
Do you outline? Before you start, somewhere after you start, or during the editing process? Are they long outlines, little notes? Detailed?
And what do you think DH means by intense? Is that bad or good?