A Writer’s Journey: Outline, The Beginning

debradier Behind the Scenes

Over the next few months I’m going to give you a behind the scenes glimpse of a writer working on a new novel. Since my office administrator does not allow comments on this website, you are welcome to contact me using my contact form if you have any questions or comments. I will respond as quickly as possible.

Debra Dier's dogs and cats in her officeI confess I have never been successful outlining a novel. I have managed to write thirteen novels and three short stories without ever completing an outline. After getting back the rights to my books I have been revising the older novels for a new audience. Now I find it is time to start a new series. Since I have been away from writing for years, I decided this was an excellent opportunity to retrain myself as a writer, to develop better habits. I actually decided to take a Master Class with James Patterson. You might not be surprised but he basically said if you are not outlining your novel you are going about it the wrong way. He had stronger language to describe those of us who do not outline. After listening to him, I knew I needed to change. I am now working on my outline. And I’m discovering it is not an easy task teaching a writer a different method. Still, I am determined.

As you see in the photo my cat sleeps on my desk, my dogs sleep under the desk or nearby. Rest assured I enjoy their company. With pen in hand and notebook before me, I am slogging away, trying to outline each scene. I’m starting with a few sentences for each scene. Now the problem I’m having is I tend to delve into the scenes without sketching out the rest of the book, getting caught up in dialogue and action before the entire book is laid out in a nice tidy fashion. I need to restrain myself until I have outlined most of the book. Correct that, all of the book.

Wish me luck. I’m determined to do an outline this time. Hopefully it will lead to less re-writing and a quicker completion. I’ll let you know how I’m doing.