An Outline Gone Bad

I have a confession. I’m not perfect. I preach about things a writer should do, more research, better research. An outline so as not to get stuck.
Except that for the last day, I have been stuck. I wrote a total of 900 words give or take. All day. Distractions? Not really. Certainly no worse than normal. I woke up this morning, had coffee and settled myself in to pound out another four thousand words. Thats my goal, right?
Ordinarily yes. Except that I’m not perfect.
When I finished my first book, all my energy went into creating the book covers (Yes, I’m a padawan of the Gimp) and putting everything else together. Meanwhile, I had only outlined the first eighteen chapters of my current WIP. A damn good eighteen chapters, I gotta say. But still, only eighteen. What happened? You say. I thought you said use an outline?
I did. And then I didn’t finish my outline because I was too busy.
So when I sat down to write, I was really hoping the story would come to me, the words would flow like honey, and all would be right with the world. Except that it didn’t, they didn’t, and it wasn’t.
I was stuck. I didn’t know anything about my bad guy, I was at a complete stand still over where to take the story.
For several hours I sat, waiting. This can’t be happening, I thought. I don’t get writer’s Block. I use outlines. All the professionals told me I’d never get it again. Suddenly the doubt crept into the darkness of my mind. I began to feel as if I’d wasted the last few weeks writing crap. I knew the character was unique, the premise sound, so how the hell did I get to the point where I didn’t trust myself enough to get on with it?
So, I did the only thing a sensible guy can do in that situation. I called my father.
My dad’s served as my main editor throughout my budding career. He’s quite possibly a bigger grammar nazi than me. So, out of pure utter desperation, I sent my seventeen chapters to him to read.
He loved it. Not that I was expecting him to dislike it, but he’s ex-military. If he thought something was complete, utter drivel, he’d tell you.

That still didn’t fix my problem, but for some reason that little bit of “hey, you’re not wasting your time” got my creative juices flowing again.I figured out what was next, and evem got the end semi written. Now I just have to get up in the morning and finish that damn outline….

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2 thoughts on “An Outline Gone Bad

  1. So, you put the proverbial cart in front of said horse, eh? Well. . . heh. I guess you won’t do that again? πŸ™‚ Hard lesson. Good thing you have your Dad around. He sounds like an awesome guy. I wish I had someone like that. What are your plans of getting yourself out of this rut?

    1. Fortunately it was a fairly easy fix.. after I let him read it and got a little feedback, the words started coming again. I’m doing a little research this morning, and going back to the outline. I did a little bit of writing last night when I got an ending to the book, and writing that put me back on track. Should have the rest of the outline done tonight πŸ˜€

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