- It's fairly detailed. About 12000 words total, but taking out all the repeated titles, headings etc. still about 8K to 9K. So pretty long. The important thing is that it is an outline of EVENTS.
- Basically, I have listed in bullet point 87 things that happen from beginning to end. 87 wasn't a selected number, but that's where the story ended. Under each heading, I have described what that bullet point is supposed to be about. Some points are more detailed than others, depending on how much I knew when I was writing the outline. It's not necessarily a scene by scene outline, because sometimes a scene carries on from one point to the next. It's simply what happens.
- I was hoping that each of the 87 point would be approximately 1000 words, giving me about 87K of the first draft. I never expected it to be exactly that, as currently I am on 43rd point, and my word count is just over 40K. Some points have been as low as 200 words, and one or two have been as long as 2500. That's something that I learn as I write the draft, and end it where it needs to end. So eventually I will end up with the first draft that is between 80K to 90K, and that's my goal.
- Personally for me, I think I have found the exact balance that I need between having enough detail so as not to worry about what happens next, and not enough detail so it doesn't suck the creativity out of writing. I have TOLD what should happen in the outline. I have not SHOWN how it could happen. That happens in the first draft. But not having to worry about what should happen next has made the writing process much much easier.
- All the plot fixing has been done in the outline. I revised this outline about three times, with significant changes. As I wrote it, I found plot lines that didn't work or plot holes that weren't filled. I fixed it before I started writing the first draft. This has been one of my biggest problems with my first drafts, because it totally puts me off editing, and makes me feel like whole thing is unfixable. But with most of the plot holes fixed at the outline stage, the first draft is fairly consistent. I know there will be things that need fixing, but at least the most obvious ones are out of the way. I am hoping that it will make editing less of a nightmare.
- It has divided writing in small sections. So this morning when I took Finn out of my bag, I didn't have to face the whole novel, just point 42. Simple. It should also make it easier when editing, because there will be a small section to handle at a time, as oppose to the whole book.
So that's my outline. Like I said, I have tried different things and different types of outline, but this is the first that has been useful and I have enjoyed using it, so I intend to stick to it for future books.
And why am I having a leisurely evening you may ask - that's because I have already reached today's target. I wanted to reach 40K today, but I am currently at 40514 words. I will still write a bit tonight, but I am not in hurry to finish a certain word count, so tonight, bit more writing and also more reading.
Have you learned anything new about your writing method or preferences from this year's NaNoWriMo experience?