Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Outline More, Cut Less

“So, without putting too fine a point on it, we’re going to have to let you go.” This is a recent conversation I had with chapter four. I put lots of time into it. I balanced the funny portions of it with the tense ones. I edited it to the bone, leaving not even so much as a comma up for consideration. But when I reread it, one stark reality came to my mind: it didn’t move the plot forward. I dragged it to the trash with some sadness.

As I look back on it now all of this could have been avoided if I had started outlining sooner. The chapters I wrote after that have a much better shot at staying employed through the editorial process. Outlining came too late for chapter 4. Chapter 1 suffered less, but did have the first half of its content rearranged and its starting place moved around a few times.

I know it doesn’t seem cool or sophisticated to write an outline but I won’t ever give it up. I don’t have the time to waste on another chapter 4.

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