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Old 07-07-2012, 12:50 PM   #46
Steven Lyle Jordan
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So in summary: The outline is useful for storing researched facts, not for making stuff up. At least not to me.
That's clearly where we differ: When I use an outline, it is easier to "make stuff up" there, everything except specific dialogue, so I know just exactly where the story's going when I start writing. That also makes it easier to concentrate on the dialogue, to make it as realistic and effective as I can.

Not that I can't imagine how someone else could do it any differently, but that's the one method that works for me. And it results in minimal burning (See? I do remember the OP!).
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:50 PM   #47
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BTW - current reading a series... but I'll grab one of your books and check it out soon. Which one would you suggest I read first?
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:40 PM   #48
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BTW - current reading a series... but I'll grab one of your books and check it out soon. Which one would you suggest I read first?
Hey, start with the best: Verdant Skies. Hard science but not overwhelming.

Or go with The Kestral Voyages: My Life, After Berserker. Sci-fi ala Star Trek and Firefly.

Or, if you're not into SF, try Despite Our Shadows, a sexy noir mystery.

And if you actually like them... for Gods' sake, tell somebody.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #49
VydorScope
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Hey, start with the best: Verdant Skies. Hard science but not overwhelming.

Or go with The Kestral Voyages: My Life, After Berserker. Sci-fi ala Star Trek and Firefly.

And if you actually like them... for Gods' sake, tell somebody.
Sure. I recently started a site where I post book reviews, but I only post reviews of books I like. So every review is of 4 or 5 star book. Its not exactly high traffic, but will cross post to Amazon and B&N at least.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:43 PM   #50
Steven Lake
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Hey, VydorScope, did you ever take mine for a spin? If you ever want to, just let me know and I'll email you a free copy of whichever one you want to read.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:47 PM   #51
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Hey, VydorScope, did you ever take mine for a spin? If you ever want to, just let me know and I'll email you a free copy of whichever one you want to read.
Nope, do not think so? I have been working through a YA series that has been actually very entertaining in a cute YA way. It is called 80 A.D. heh Sounds like I will have to start a real TBR list instead of the random collection of books I do not recall downloading on my Nook.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:12 AM   #52
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You could say my outline is my rough draft; and the text I write from that, though I myself call it my draft, is actually my final copy... that is, after I do a proofing and editing pass on the draft, it becomes finalized.

This is one of the reasons I regularly describe my writing work as being similar to a carpenter making a chair: I know from the beginning that I want to make a chair, and what kind of chair I want to make; the steps to making that chair are familiar and rote to me; and at the end, I have the chair I set out to make. I don't set out to make a Chippendale chair and end up with a La-Z-Boy; I make a Chippendale. It's the writing process I was trained in, and it works like clockwork for me.

I emphasize that I was trained to write this way in school; and although it works for me, other writing methods are equally valid if it turns out the product you want. (I just generate less wasted material along the way.)
How long would you say it takes you to go from the outline to the final draft Steven?
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:54 AM   #53
Steven Lyle Jordan
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How long would you say it takes you to go from the outline to the final draft Steven?
The outline and character notes are generally about 2 weeks' work: 1 wk in initial writing and 1 wk for polishing. Add another 1-2 weeks if I have to do extensive research on a technology or historical reference. Then I can get started writing almost immediately afterward.

As I said, the first actual manuscript is really the "final draft," and only needs a read-through and polishing to be finalized.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:49 PM   #54
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Good post on SFWA site Guest Post:

Really, Your Outline Does Not Have to Be Perfect

by Mary Robinette Kowal

http://www.sfwa.org/2012/07/guest-po...to-be-perfect/
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:05 PM   #55
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Good post on SFWA site Guest Post:

Really, Your Outline Does Not Have to Be Perfect

by Mary Robinette Kowal

http://www.sfwa.org/2012/07/guest-po...to-be-perfect/
Yeah, I'd agree with that post.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:50 PM   #56
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Good post on SFWA site Guest Post:

Really, Your Outline Does Not Have to Be Perfect

by Mary Robinette Kowal

http://www.sfwa.org/2012/07/guest-po...to-be-perfect/
Thanks for that Kenny. I like her take on the subject, and it's very timely for me. My first novel had absolutely no outline, when I started it I had absolutely no idea where it was going or even if it would go anywhere. My subsequent novels are all part of a bigger story that developed beyond and behind that first novel as I wrote it, so then I found I had a vague outline. For my second novel I knew where I wanted to end up and two points somewhere in the middle - but that was pretty much it. But now I'm trying to write what I hope to be the concluding novel and I am slowly realising that I need more direction - things will never come together sensibly unless I take more control over the events. I doubt if I will ever be able to work with something as detailed and specific - for example - as that suggested by the SnowFlake method, but that article's conclusion "After all, if all stories aren’t the same, there’s no reason they need to be written the same way. Vary your tools and techniques." is making more and more sense to me.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:38 PM   #57
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That article's conclusion "After all, if all stories aren’t the same, there’s no reason they need to be written the same way. Vary your tools and techniques." is making more and more sense to me.
Can't say that I've ever "burned down" a novel before, but I have done a few intensive rewrites. And there's been a few I've just abandoned somewhere in the woods where I know they can't find me again.

As for outlining, etc., I don't have a standard approach. Some novels I outline - usually in a single sitting. Others I just start writing and see where it takes me. And then there's at least one series I'm writing that has an "outline" of a sorts, except that it's only in my head. I suppose that counts as "vary[ing my] tools and technique."
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:23 AM   #58
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This is a great thread. It's inspiring to read about all the different attacks at writing, and getting the finished product. I didn't used to do formal outlines and just kind of charged in writing from a general idea in my head, but not now. I do the rigorous outline and I'm thankful for it. I force myself to get the whole thing fleshed out from beginning to end, before I start committing to any major word count. It's helped out a lot, and has eliminated a ton of revisions ... though the 'fleshing out' stage is a killer. And of course, there's some changes as the story goes along, while the thinking gets fine-tuned and unforeseen snags crop up, but a lot less of them...
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