Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Necessary Evil? Really?

There are two things I don’t like about the writing process: outlining, and synopses. And right now I’m working on an outline for a new novel and it’s making me crazy go nuts.

I love the idea, the plotline of this new manuscript, but trying to keep it simple in an outline is very difficult for me. The same thing with writing a synopsis. I feel like I’m trying to keep it streamlined and it’s almost impossible for me to do so. I want to put in all the details, the nuances that to make the book enjoyable. But that’s where the actual writing comes in. It is not for the outline.
Sometimes I wonder, did Jane Austen, John Steinbeck or Agatha Christie write outlines and/or synopses? Probably not. Publishing wasn’t the big business then that it is now. At least I don’t think it was.

Synopses make me nuts too. I had an agent once ask for a synopsis of each chapter individually. I decided that was too much and opted not too. You want that detailed of a synopsis read the damned book.

I guess I just feel like all this preliminary stuff is keeping me from doing what I really want to do which is write the book. Tell the story that I have inside. Maybe that’s what I should do.

So I’m leaning towards sitting down and just starting it and seeing what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you really would like to be a pantser! You should definitely give it a go! I wrote my first novel that way. It was thrilling! Second novel I outlined way too much and wound up making lots of changes to the synopsis. SO third time is a charm, right? I've plotted the first 3 chapters and that's all! When I'm done writing those, then I decide if I want to pants the rest... You make your own rules, Maureen!