I’ve been writing an outline for my novel. Previously I hadn’t written one as I was going to allow my characters to take me along for the ride. Yes, I’m aware of how naive this is. I was sixteen when I started, many romantic notions seemed viable then.
As I’m in the middle of my re-write/revision I thought that getting an outline down would be helpful. Turns out, a lot of what I’ve already written needs to be pushed a lot further back than I had originally intended. Also, I’ve discovered that I have duel plot lines, making my novel far longer than intended. One is going to be prolonged into the second novel.
(In the middle of that last sentence I had an epiphany about the plot and just wrote it down into my notes. I’m very pleased with the connections I just made.)
I keep finding deeper and deeper connections throughout my plot, similar to the one that just hit me. The plot is becoming more and more intertwined. I love it when novels do that and I’m trying to the best of my intellectual abilities to make this as complicated as possible. I want the reader to have those “Holy shit! That has to do with that first thing I read in Chapter 2 that seemed insignificant but has a ridiculous amount of meaning!” moments throughout the novel. I love surprises, I love mysteries, and I love cohesion. I also want to love my own work. Because if I don’t want to read it, why would anyone else? I already love and admire my main character Sol. I want to love all of my characters, even my villains.
So, what I really want you to take away from this is that writing an outline can really get the creative wheels turning, not to mention it can give a lot of meat to your plot, even though outlines are generally flat and fact based.
How helpful do you find outlining? Any tips on how I should approach my outline? Should I be combining my first, second, and third novel outlines? I would love your feedback! Help an aspiring fantasy novelist out!