A Roadmap to your novel

In our first week of my online class, we learned to draft a 500-word plot summary of our novels. I’d already written my mystery novel, so this was a post drafting summary. But while researching what makes a good synopsis, I stumbled on a lot of advice about writing the synopsis before the story.

This sounded interesting and since I have a new novel I’m working on–total Kismet. That story stalled once because I didn’t know where I was going. I hate when I don’t know what the next scene is.  I froze up and worked on editing the other book instead.

Anyway, so I sat down and plotted out the story in 2 pages. Entire story. Done. Mind you OL played a huge part in story storming with me. It’s our version of brain storming where he asks questions or makes comments and bam I’ve suddenly plotted out a book in 30 minutes.

Anyway, since drafting the synopsis, I’ve been on a roll. I’ve written 5 new scenes this week alone. And it’s so much easier to know what comes next. Writing really is trial and error. I’ve learned so much from mistakes. I’d never take them back. But yeesh, it’s a tough journey sometimes.

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2 Responses to A Roadmap to your novel

  1. Emma says:

    When I started my first story, I didn’t have an outline. I just brainstormed what it would be about, took some notes and then began to write it down. I always thought that this was working quite well for me, because I realized that in my writing I hardly every stick to my “outlines” (ie. notes) and I am more like a write-as-you-go kind of person. However, after some time I reached a point where I didn’t know where my story was heading. Although I had some great ideas, I couldn’t really use them because I had reached some kind of dead end. So I reluctantly decided to discard what I had written and start over again, this time with a more sophisticated outline and it worked way better. Although I have to admit that I sometimes change things that I lined out before and adapt the story a little bit. Having an outline can actually help you with keeping on track but to me nothing is ever set in stone and you can always reconsider and change your opinion.

    • I used to write a 10-40 page outline before the novel. But I found it too restrictive. I agree that the outline has be a guide but not set in stone. This method of writing a 2-3 page synopsis is working really well with my newest story. I know where I am going and I can take little detours but I don’t go way of on unneccesary tangents. The story evolves as I write and the characters take on their own lives and sometimes refuse to do what I originally planned. But isn’t that the best party of writing? 🙂

      I think every writer has to find a method that works for them. I’ve read about using notecards so you can discard and add scenes/ideas as needed too. Sounds like an interesting idea. Maybe I’ll try that on the next story. 🙂

      Bottom line though: You’re 100% right about nothing being set in stone and letting things flow.

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