...on the road to 2010 NaNo-dom. Just finished a rough outline for my next effort in the "month of writing dangerously." This year's novel is a sequel to my 2007 NaNo, Leonard the Great: Dragon Friend (still in editing hell). The working title is Leonard the Great: Boulderhead.
The outline itself is five full pages, divided into nineteen chapters. Most of the descriptions are two or three paragraphs long (per chapter). A few are five paragraphs long, others are only a sentence in length. The idea for this first draft is to get the very vaguest idea of what's going to happen in my manuscript. I have succeeded on that count and am pleased with the overall direction of the story.
I'll spend the rest of October going through this version, revising and expanding the notes I've made. Right now, the story mostly makes sense. Hopefully, it will completely make sense by the end of the month. No guarantees!
I'm not a rigid slave to my outlines, delighting in discovering plot and character elements along the way that I had no idea were coming, but a decent one really helps to get the ball rolling. Although some writers claim they can start writing without an outline, I can't imagine starting something as large and complex as a novel without having a pretty good idea of where I'm headed. Yay, outlining!