In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* In response to John Gilstrap
* Topic: One Reverse Outline Template
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quotes of the Day
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” Mark Twain
“If I’ve started a story in the wrong spot, I generally won’t realize it until I’m around page fifty or so.” John Gilstrap
“I do not romanticize the act of writing. I don’t talk about the anguish I suffer in creating. I do not have a fear of the blank page, writer’s block, all those things that we hear about writers.” José Saramago
“As I write this, I realize that I have discovered for the first time why I can write the last one-third of a book in thirty days or so. At that point, I’m no longer writing–I’m merely reporting what I see.” John Gilstrap
In response to John Gilstrap’s article and the second quote above in “Of Interest” today, I left this comment:
“Yes! Over all my 50+ novels, I’ve understood it is the characters, not I, who are living the story. While they’re off having wonderful adventures, I’m sitting alone in a dim room with a cigar in the ashtray and my fingers on a keyboard.
“Only thing is, the characters don’t have physical fingers. And that’s where I come in. I am simply the Recorder, the mechanism through which they put down their story as it unfolds. I am also the very fortunate guy who gets to see, hear, smell, taste and touch the story first.”
Yesterday I started with a lot of admin work. At the beginning of this 52nd novel, I finally thought to set up a template for my reverse outline. I shared it below so you could more plainly see what I’m talking about when I talk about reverse outlines.
Then I moved over to the novel. A good day, but not a great day. Today I am thankful I have another one. I’m one day closer to turning 68, and like many of us, wondering why I’m not still 28.
Topic: One Reverse Outline Template
This is one reverse outline template. Yours might vary. Yours might have more or fewer major divisions. As you might imagine, the most important parts are the character names, the place names, and the chapter synopses. Feel free to copy/paste this one for your own use.
I add character (even minor character) and place names as they appear name by name, place by place, and then write a synopsis of each chapter AFTER I’ve written each chapter. Hence, reverse outline.
After I set up the template, since I’m working with a series right now, I opened the notes for The Ark, then saved it with the filename “a The Journey Home 1 Notes.” This saves me a lot of time reinventing the wheel since many of the same characters will appear in Book 2.
Note the “a” before the filename. That’s to be sure the actual manuscript (which also has an “a” before the filename) and the notes for that manuscript appear together and at the beginning of my “Writing” folder.
I also kept the older character and place names from Book 1 in case a character in this book needs to refer back to any of them. Remember, the reverse outline is for your use only, a quick reminder of names, places and attributes so you won’t have to search back through the current (or previous, in the case of a series) novel.
Then I skipped over to my business computer for a moment and wrote what’s above and pasted the template below. (Though the actual template has 1-30 for chapter numbers because that’s what I expect for this novel.)
Reverse Outline Template
a TITLE Notes [this is the filename]
THE PLAYERS (+AGE and whatever else)
THE PLACES (plus distinguishing characteristics and whatever else)
OTHER SIGNIFICANT GENERAL DETAILS
1 A brief synopsis of significant events from Chapter 1, what happened, who was involved, etc.
2 A brief synopsis of significant events from Chapter 2, what happened, who was involved, etc.
3 Etc. for as many chapters as you have.
SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION OF ONE OR MORE MAJOR PLACE(S)
SPECIFIC DESCRIPTIONS OF MAJOR AND NECESSARY MINOR CHARACTERS
DESCRIPTIONS OF MAJOR SPECIFICS (uniforms, areas, etc.)
NOTES TO SELF (thoughts, descriptions of as-yet unnamed characters, etc.)
That’s it. As always, any thoughts or commments are welcome.
Talk with you again soon.
See “Chapter One” at https://killzoneblog.com/2020/11/chapter-one.html. Not what it sounds like and chock full of tidbits.
See “20 Poetry Markets Open for Submissions” at https://www.authorspublish.com/20-poetry-markets-open-for-submissions-in-november-2020/.
See “The Gentle Genre” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/the-gentle-genre/. Anyone else ever heard of the “Gentle” genre? I’ve heard of and read some of the books, but never heard of the genre.
See “Determining Your Character’s Emotional Range” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/determining-your-characters-emotional-range/.
See “Why Odd Couples and Opposites Make For Great Crime Fiction” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/why-odd-couples-and-opposites-make-for-great-crime-fiction/.
The Journal…………………………………… 810 words
Writing of The Journey Home: Part 1 (novel)
Day 1…… 3373 words. Total words to date…… 3373
Day 2…… 3312 words. Total words to date…… 6685
Total fiction words for November……… 38367
Total fiction words for the year………… 401585
Total nonfiction words for November… 10100
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 175940
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 577525
Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 6
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 13
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 51
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 214
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31