To Outline, Or Not To Outline…

I just finished Chased about twenty minutes ago. While I had outlined it for my editor, I don’t normally do outlines because I like to let the story go where it wants to go. Still, I’m fortunate enough in my editor that I think she’ll like where I went with it and it’s not a huge departure from the basic idea/outline I’d written up anyway.

But what happened was this. I’m writing along and I’m following the outline but I’m realizing that Liv is way more complicated than I’d thought at first. She’s one thing on the outside but beneath the surface there’s something else. A lot of hurt. And I also realized early on, that Marc was kinkier than I’d thought and the sensuality level was higher than I’d planned.

So I’m continuing to write and the black moment that comes is different than I’d thought it would be. The resolution is the same but the big bad between them is something I hadn’t thought until I was writing it.

But I’m thrilled with the end product. This one is told in a different way than I normally tell my stories and you get more of Marc than I usually give my heroes. I’m putting it down until the weekend when I’ll read it fresh and see if I still love it then, LOL.

I do outlines and synopses when I have to and when they’re necessary like my NY pitches and when I’m trying to sell on partial but I love it when I can just let the story carry me away.

In Thrice United, you find out why Holly’s mother was on the run for Holly’s whole life toward the end of the book. But the truth is that I didn’t even know about that reason until I was writing that scene, LOL. I’d had an idea but it didn’t seem right or fit the story but as I was typing it just came to me. The same thing happened when I was writing Threat of Darkness with the big bad. I’d tried and tried and tried to outline it, hoping to figure out why I’d been blocked but it wasn’t until I started over and just let it all come that the big bad came to me.

Other times, outlining helps me keep the story from running away from me (Taking Chase for instance) or makes me focus when I’m scattered.

Anyway, I’m blathering because I’ve got that “I just finished a book” thing happening to my brain and I’m sort of drunk with it.

7 comments to “To Outline, Or Not To Outline…”

  1. Melissa
    December 6th, 2006 at 8:54 pm · Link

    I’m really looking forward to reading CHASED. I’m here if you’re short on a reader. *wink, wink*

    Congrats on the completion!

    I’m with you I only outline or write a synopsis when its a must.


  2. Sunny Lyn
    December 7th, 2006 at 12:56 am · Link

    hehehehe – sorry – laughing at the ‘my characters surprised me’ – and glad I’m not the only one that happens to on occasion.

    Congrats on completion! Hope you still respect Marc in the morning. 😈

  3. Lori
    December 7th, 2006 at 12:18 pm · Link

    I’m with Melissa… ummm, if you’re looking for any reader feedback on the “different” way you’re telling this one, I’m your girl *blinking innocently*. Honest, I’m always happy to help out 😆

  4. Charlene
    December 7th, 2006 at 2:04 pm · Link

    Yay, congrats on finishing! It sounds like you have a good approach. Enough of a guide to keep from getting lost, not so much that you miss that interesting twist along the way!

  5. Robin L. Rotham
    December 8th, 2006 at 10:23 pm · Link

    I didn’t even know about that reason until I was writing that scene…

    I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who writes like this. The surest way for me to guarantee a story’s not going to go the way I envision it is to outline or write a syno. It’s like my subconscious knows the whole story but has too much fun playing Twenty Questions with my muse to give any of it up easily. They’re tussling right now, as a matter of fact, which is why I’m surfing blogs instead of finishing my sequel…

    Thrice United was fantastic, BTW. Your heroes are delish!

  6. Lauren
    December 9th, 2006 at 10:28 am · Link

    Thank you, Mel, don’t be surprised if I come knocking on your door in a week or so!

    Lyn – LOL, he’s a naughty boy but I still respect him, hee!

  7. Lauren
    December 9th, 2006 at 10:30 am · Link

    Lori – careful what you offer! I may be hitting you up for beta if you’re not careful!

    Charli – yeah, I think I’ve found a nice middle way after a few years.

    Robin – LOL! Yeah the muse has a way of doing that. And thank you so much.