Preptober: Outline Renovation

If I were staring at a blank page with a new outline that I had to create, this would be a very different blog post. But I’m looking at a notebook filled with multiple pages of handwritten notes, scrawls, scribbles, pieces of digital artwork, and old outlines. I’m looking at folders that contain text from, I don’t know how many years ago. When it comes to the story, there’s so much world building that has been done already, so much discovery, that a part of me wants to just destroy it all and start anew.

But I like what I have built so far. There’s a lot here and I really enjoy the magic system which I’m looking forward to using. So outlining, instead of inspired creation, is going to be more of a renovation, where I take what I think are pretty good first steps and rework it into an outline that will scaffold not just The Forest Book, but the foundation an entire series.

I’ve watched Brandon Sanderson’s lectures on worldbuilding and they have proven invaluable. I particularly enjoy the image of the iceberg, of how much worldbuilding you must do in order to write, and how much is really there in the imagination of the reader. I think that the key to writing a good fantasy is knowing when to stop worldbuilding and start writing. That’s the key to any fantasy, really. One that is finally read.

But worldbuilding is coming up later in this Preptober blog series and right now we’re just talking about the outline. The outline for me is all about plot, and I’m looking at about 40 scenes already sketched out. Some of them even have bits of dialogue or full conversations, paragraphs of descriptions. One of the things I don’t have is a good name for one of the major characters. That’s something I’ll be working on this month, and I’ll probably discuss it more here.

The most important thing is to get the story out there, to get the characters outside of my head and into a place where people can read them. I want others to enjoy their adventures and maybe somebody else can fall in love with them the way I have.

That’s what this blog series is about. And in this particular post, for a few moments I could procrastinate before diving into that wad of written material. Some places I need a sledgehammer, other places a utility knife. Either way, let’s flip this outline!

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