House is torn up, but it'll be warm and worth it when we're done with this project! I'm a few chapters short of my goal to have my novel outlined thru chapter 15 by month's end, since that would be, uh, today. If Baby Chi Chi cooperates I might be able to pull it off but I'm actively working on getting some babysitting help so I can work.
I am also starting to put together my readers group for getting feedback and proofreading help before sending it off to agents. If you would like to help me AND you have time to do it in the next couple months, let me know! I think I'll send it out a couple chapters at a time instead of the whole manuscript at once. It seems that'll work better.
Oh - it occurs to me that maybe I haven't written about my new writing tool - what I once thought to be the overrated outline turns out to be a very, very helpful strategy.
I finally confessed to Matt a couple weeks ago that I really don't know what the hell I'm doing when it comes to finishing this novel. I want it, I've got stacks of pages and revisions and sticky notes everywhere but what do I DO with it all to organize it into something someone would actually read and understand?
Try an outline.
I don't know.
Honey, just try it.
What would it look like, exactly.
You want me to draw it out for you?
So he did. And here I am finally on roll again making serious progress toward completion. I've worked out nearly all my holes and roadblocks with this handy little outline. His advice and sample outline were exactly what I'd been looking for in book after book, a formula to get me past my block, a way to take the creative parts and guide me through the complete telling of my story. I proudly showed him my outlines for each chapter. He started laughing when he saw I'd followed his sample to the letter.
Well, it's just that it's not the Holy Grail or anything. I made it up.
Made it up?
Well, whatever. It's working for me. I'm so glad I talked to you about it. I was scared you'd think it was stupid that I was so stuck with the logistics.
No problem. Why do you think so many writers marry English teachers?
I don't know but it seems like a smart move.
Yes. Yes, it was.