Today begins the first day of using an actual, honest-to-god outlining schedule designed to produce a solid rough draft in a month. For many years I have eschewed novel outlines as unnatural and an anathema to my creativity, but the harsh reality is that whatever I’m doing now isn’t working, as it has been ages since I’ve finished a novel and I’ve never finished one to my satisfaction. This is the I think third time I’ve attempted this particular novel, so I have a large wealth of written material and brain-material, and even though it feels like unnecessary homework, I have decided to go through this process and make it work for me, and do whatever it takes to get my thoughts ordered and on paper.
Day one is character sketches. I don’t need to do character sketches, I say, until I sit down to do them, and am reminded of why this is a useful writing tool. As I dutifully go down the list and fill out the sheet a lot of hidden-away memories and ideas come back to me, and I’m able to organize them and put them in place.
I’ve decided to use some of the organizational techniques I learned from bullet journaling to help keep all this stuff organized in a small spiral notebook. That includes keeping a detailed table of contents and pagination.