Using the right tools

I made a commitment to write every day and I am pleased to say I’ve stayed with it.

The thing I have to admit is that I haven’t always been working on my novel. Still, I am up to 71 pages. Not as far as I’d hoped, but much more than my usual output. I’ve been distracted by making comments on Facebook (does that count if they’re very well-thought out comments?) and emailing my kids about what to get their kids for Christmas and then ordering the grandkids’ presents on the Internet.

But every day I make myself work on the novel. I think I will call it “Six Weeks” because that’s how long it takes Karyn (the heroine) to realize what she truly wants from her life. I’d like to think I could finish this in six weeks, but I’m trying to be realistic.

The outline helps. But I have discovered after five chapters that I haven’t kept to it very well. I’ve left out some things and added others that weren’t on the list. But the story itself is going forward.

Today I didn’t work on chapter six. I went over the first five chapters to make they fit in the corrected timeline. I added some scenes, and some internal dialogue to strengthen the character’s point of view.

And then I corrected the outline to match what I had actually written. How lame is that? Is someone going to come in the house, commandeer my computer, and check? I think I have issues with outlines that I haven’t seen addressed in any book or workshop.

There is another step I need to take before going on. I tore out pages 49-50 in last months RWA Report. The article, “The Writer’s Toolkit,” was “Fleshing out your characters.” I plan to go over this and fill in the blanks for the main characters in the book. I can see them in my head, but after I gave Karyn hazel eyes in one scene and brown eyes in another, I think I’d better do this exercise before proceeding.

Yes, there is more to writing a book than sitting down and writing. I can  say I’ve published five books, and have written four more that are either abandoned or going the rounds. so why am I making a change now?

Because I want this book to be better. And now that I have the tools to make it better, why not use them?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CristineGzr
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 08:39:02

    That’s great progress Sandy! I’m actually looking at my outline today.
    At RWA13, I attended Cherry Adair’s seminar and learned some valuable techniques. One, I didn’t follow well and now I am going to spend the day today catching up. She writes an outline but rewrites/adjusts it daily, after she finishes writing, to adapt to changes. This way she keeps on track. I forgot this and I’ve wavered from my outline, which is good. The outline wasn’t made of concrete, but I am heading in a particular direction, so I need to revisit the plan and adjust it. The outline is also a critical component for me when I’m writing the synopsis, so keeping on track avoids that sticky mess! I hope this helps and kudos on your progress 😉


  2. Sandy Bruney
    Dec 21, 2013 @ 15:50:13

    I’m glad to hear I am not the only revising my outline. I thought I was cheating.


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