Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Goals (Not an Oxymoron)

Tip of the Day: My Chautauqua writer friend Juliet Bond blogs with Swagger Writers. Check out her post on Scholastic's gender oriented non-fiction at

Hi all! As a writer, guess what I hate to do the most?

Read rejection letters? Okay, that's it. But I mean besides the obvious.

It's outlining. I hate outlining. Yet somehow, I've committed to myself to create FOUR outlines this summer. That sounds crazy even if I liked outlining. Why have I committed to such insanity?

Here's the thing: I have to start a new project. I've had lots of ideas brewing while I finished my last novel, but none I've explored fully. I have 3 promising ideas, and I'd like to write one of them. But I have a misgiving about each idea. The horror idea seems too edgy in a sex and partying way. The science fiction seems too middle grade but I can't see how to make it into a middle grade completely. The weird western also seems too middle grade, too save the world from a bad guy, but that might be the nature of westerns. Western definitely equals research.

So I'm starting out by outlining a novel I would like to rewrite. I think only the beginning third needs a rewrite and the rest just needs to be revised. But I feel like an outline would reassure me that the plot is on track, and also give me practice in writing a good outline. I plan to use Rhonda Helms's outlining method, as she describes to people who take her plotting workshop. Then it's time to write the three outlines for the books that don't exist yet.

If I get tired of outlining (and I will, I will), I'll have the rewrite to distract me, so I can take a break between outlines. And hopefully, by the end of the summer, I'll be able to do one last revision on the novel I just finished revising and send out queries.

And hopefully hopefully, I'll know which new novel to take on. I actually have a fourth idea for a contemporary that may be too quiet, but how many outlines can one person write? And will this work for choosing the next project to spend a year on? I guess I'll keep you updated!

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

1 comment:

Andrea Mack said...

Kate, I like your plan. I think you'll definitely find out which one you want to pursue -- and if for some reason you get bogged down or it doesn't work out, you'll have another project all ready to go!!