Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Start Over

After much debate, I decided to scrap my novel and start over. This does not mean that I'm giving up. I'm simply just reassessing my situation.

The progress of my novel has been going really, really slow. It has taken me months just to spit out less than 30,000 words of cow manure. And during those months, I had to battle with writer's block dozens of times... and losing.

So I've been spending this past week researching everything I can to improve my writing, getting rid of writer's block, etc.... And do you know what I've discovered?


I have learned that a good, long and detailed outline is a fantastic way to write a novel without writer's block. The outline that I wrote for my novel was only 2 pages long. However, according to other authors, their outlines took 20 to 40 pages to write! As a result, they rarely suffered writer's block.

When I first wrote my outline, I thought that it should be short. It was almost like a skeleton, with barely any meat in the writing. I thought that if there weren't too much details in it, I would be able to easily bend and twist the details of the novel to suit my needs and make any changes along the way.

But according to some other authors, their outlines were really detailed. Because of this, they were able to write a rough draft in less than two months. I'm not saying that it was smooth sailing, but it sure made writing novels a whole lot easier for them.

So I'm going to do the same thing. For the rest of October, I'm going to rewrite an outline that is at least 20 pages long.

My novel may be down, but it will rise from the flames, better than ever.

And when November comes around. Boom! I will start writing my novel during Nanowrimo. I will write 50,000 words in a month (and maybe even more than that).

So wish me luck, because I'm going to need it.


  1. Good Luck :) I had to do that with my first novel I wrote. I like it. But it just didn't work. I'm currently working on a new one, which I like better. Are you doing nanowrimo? I decieded to sign up to help with my writing.

  2. I've signed up to do Nanowrimo this year since I've never actually written out any story ideas I've had so I'm hoping it'll be the boot up the backside I need.
    Good luck with your re-write :)

  3. Good luck! what a great idea- I might follow you in doing so for my NaNo idea. have a great day!

  4. Wishing you good luck!! I can't outline in such detail. Then I know what happens and the story isn't fun to me anymore. However, as I start on the 3rd installment of my series, I'm going to have to outline to some extent. The idea kind of scares me. So it'd be great if you'd return the good luck wishes. lol I hope you'll share anything you learn on the way. Best wishes for NaNoWriMo!!

  5. Holy crap - 20-40 pages? I thought my outlines (never longer than 4 pages ever) were detailed...let us know how it works ^_^

  6. I second the idea of outlining, although everyone has their own way. I personally just make extensive notes on the characters and plot developments, leaving room for things to change. I think it runs 5-7 pages.
    Don't be discouraged about scrapping and rewriting. I've done it numerous times.
    I will say something about writer's block though. I have inevitably found that it's a sign that something is not right with the story. If you can't more forward with the next scene, you need to re-write what came before. That's how it works for me, anyway.

  7. I'm thinking I may have to go the Outline route on my stalled fantasy too. On the other three novels (womens fiction) it seems like the first draft was basically an outline; I had to add so much detail. But it worked, and the novels are complete.

    I think an outline should be as long (or short) as it needs to be to get the writing started. Sometimes a few ideas work, sometimes you need more. Its cool you recognize you may need more.

    Its what writing is all about, right?

    I hope you don't totally delete your original novel. You may find lots of useable work in there once you complete your outline and start the actual writing again. Maybe its not all as bad as you think, you just need to come at it from a different perspective.

    Good luck with the outline and the re-write. Sounds very encouraging.

  8. I seriously was laughing when I read your post. You're hilarious. Anyway, I write outlines all the time but...I never follow them. I suppose they're good to have though.

    See you at nanowrimo. I'm participating too and plan on finishing a novel a started earlier this year.

  9. Hey John
    Was just stopping by on the hop and your tone of voice made me laugh. If you write like this all the time, I'll definitely buy your book :) Hope it goes well!

  10. Good luck to you! Found you on FF and I'm a newcomer. I am enjoying blog hopping and following. I'm your new follower, I hope you follow back :) Happy weekend :D

  11. I'm leaning toward the outlining camp myself. After years of being a "pantser" (flying by the seat of), becoming a "plotter" will take some getting used to. But I, too, have been stuck on my current WiP, and it ain't pretty.