Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Experiment Begins.

Okay, after all of these recent posts about OCD, outlining, and my various and assorted writing-related quirks, it only makes sense that I would now elect to do something completely out of character.

Namely...I'm dropping the outline for Between the Lines.

Be still, my twitching OCD.

This could be an exercise in epic failure, or it could have some cool results. Whatever the case, once I'm finished with Breaking the Rules (probably another week, maybe two), I'm returning to Between the Lines, picking up where I left off (halfway through chapter 4, I think), and letting the characters take the reins. Between the Lines, like none of my other previous books, is about to become a total characterocracy.

In a way, this is just the next step in the natural progression discussed in my outlining blog entry (linked above), but some steps are bigger than others. There's a world of difference between "loosely, flexibly outlined" and "no outline at all". It's sort of like carefully, slowly learning to drive, then going out on the Autobahn with a learner's permit and no brakes.

In a show of solidarity, or perhaps just her own form of insanity, Scarlett is going against her every instinct and outlining a book. Yes, folks, the great and powerful Scarlett is bowing to The Almighty Outline, prostrating herself before the Altar of Bulleted Lists, making a sacrifice at the Temple of Timelines, and answering the siren's call that is Pre-Planning. And the result? Her soon-to-be-written Plus One. (And, in a twist of irony, she blogged at the exact same moment I did about this very subject. That blog entry is hyuh.)

It will be interesting to see if one or both of us makes it to the end of a book using an alien technique...or if we both cry "uncle", run screaming to our word processors, and either delete or create outlines to ease the pain and still the shaking.

My predictions?

I will discover that free rein is the way to go, and resign myself to a life of loosely jotted notes, vague ideas, and continue to embrace characterocracy as the superior method of writing.

Scarlett will make it to the end with a book of her usual level of quality and badassness, but finish with a resounding "fuck this!", condemn outlining forever, and go back to her wicked ways.

As soon as our current books are done, it's game on.

No outline. No map. No idea where it's going to end.

Hold me.

EDIT: Since I already had an outline for Between the Lines, and thus already sort of know how the story might go, it doesn't really count as "not outlined". Thus, I am going to start something new for this challenge. That is all.


  1. I bet your predictions come true!

    God, what am I doing...

    Outline, yes. Bulleted list - well, you've seen it. Timeline? Meh. Pre-planning...


    PS: Love the word 'characterocracy'. So true, and I long for it. After "Plus One".

  2. As you both posted the SAME BLOODY THING, I'll copy paste. :D

    Yay for experimentation. I experimented once... There was this guy I went to school with, and... Wait, never mind.


    In a similar vein, my new project will be FULLY outlined. Something I've never done.

    *Menny hudz to both*

    PS. Yes, I'm lazy.

  3. I have a different prediction to make: You each will come up with a better way for planning your respective novels that works for you. Something in the middle, perhaps.

    Good luck,