Anyone know how to read a compass?

I have created (drumroll, please) an outline.

I came back from my writer’s group meeting last week having spent a while complaining to the table about the lack of a discernible plot in some of my former fiction attempts. And I know I’ve complained before about outlines. I prefer to write in bits and pieces, jumping back and forth in the novel as scenes occur to me.

There are benefits to this approach: it makes it easy to write in coffee shops while my kids are in art class; it makes it easy to write without referring to previously written material; and, it’s easier to simply create scenes without having to drudge through the connective tissue necessary for sequential writing.

But, it finally occurred to me after last week’s meeting that whining about plot problems AND whining about outlines is a bit like complaining about someone else’s food when you don’t know how to cook. You either have to shut up, or you have to learn.

Maybe I’ll never be able to outline before I begin a project. The current project, fortunately, is about one-third complete, with scenes dangling at all stages of the novel. So I sat with my list of scenes on one side of me and my synopsis on the other and began slotting in events and deciding what needed to be added, and where.

I am now basking in the feeling that I’ve just drawn my own treasure map.

One thought on “Anyone know how to read a compass?

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