Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Another Outline

Finished the revision of chapter 2 on Sunday afternoon -- and yes, it did rain. Even snowed on the mountains. Sunday morning was absolutely beautiful. (The picture is of downtown Tucson against our snow-topped mountains)

Yesterday I cleaned up my desk, read through chapter 4 (decided it could stand for now), did several nonstops and seemed unable to concentrate as well as I would have liked. I suspect I was simmering.

Today I decided to switch gears and characters and did another of the paragraph by paragraph outlines of what is happening in chapter 3. I realized as I did it that another way it helps is by short circuiting the power the words themselves have to draw you through the story. Sometimes the words fit together well enough and lead so strongly into one another that the whole thing seems right as you read it through -- but remains mysteriously wrong when you're done. Doing the p by p outline helps you to disable that effect and with the outline in hand you can start to see what you've actually written in terms of concepts. Maybe the subject of the characters' dialogue is something that is irrelevant in the big picture, though in the scene itself it seemed rather compelling -- this outline helps you see that.

It also helps you to be able to draw comparisons and see progressions of thoughts you might not otherwise see. And to be able to group things better than you can if you are just trying to evaluate it as an entire scene. As a result I'm now able to see what I need to do about this chapter and a number of things that I want to add/subtract. Tomorrow I'll see if I can implement it all.

Grace on your day