So I had a few more questions pop up after my last post on outlines and I'd thought I'd clear up a few things.
1) Outlines do not have to be formal, numbered, lettered or any such thing. If you're into that, go for it (ironically the number 1 being next to this paragraph is freaking me out a bit now). Don't think of the outlines you had to write for English class when I say outline. Think of the bones of your story. How does it start? List events and some details.
2) Outlines are a great way to not only keep your focus but keep your memory. I forget everything. Motherhood does this to you. I currently have a set of keys that are lost and just two days ago I found a missing debit card (yay) so outlines help me go "oh yeah, that's what happens next" when otherwise I may have made up something crazy and different.
3)Outlines are not set in stone. They are bones for a reason. If you get somewhere and need to add something, DO IT! If you get to the middle of your story and an event or scene you outlined just doesn't work, rewrite it. Be flexible, you'll need this quality later.
4)Outlines are your friend. Don't keep them in another document. Add them to the bottom of your story. I always have a "sharable" document and my own "working" document I work out of. I save them on Google docs and word on my computer. This way I always have a back up. My workable document has everything I've written so far, my outline and any tidbits of information, character summaries, my overall summary, and so on. When I want to share the file with someone to have them read over it, I send them the sharable document and not my mess of the workable document. Make sense?
That's all for outlines. Now onto teasers.
I'm currently working on a couple of novels. One is going really well. I have everything outlined, specifically and while its slow going through this 'dark' place in the book, its going. Another is something that is still in its beginning stages. I've written some but I'm mostly focusing on an outline. Both pieces are fiction and have scifi components but the second is deeply scifi so its a bit more fun and less personal. Without giving too much away, I thought I'd grace you with a teaser of this second, new bit of work. Still in a rough draft form and still figuring out what exactly it is but alas, enjoy.
Note: This work is already registered with the WGA-west and copy-written. Any unauthorized reproduction or re-transcription of the below work is illegal.
Working Title: The Eternal Mr. Filch
I was running so fast I could barely keep my eyes open. The air sped past me and my heart pounded in my chest from the exhilaration. It wasn’t only that I felt young and able again, it was much more than that. But they were chasing me, thus why I was running. I turned down a dark corner and stopped. They ran past me and then I heard one of them say, “Wait, I think he turned, the scent changed.” I turned around and saw I’d entered a dead end but before I could even think about what to do next my body responded. I jumped so high I swore for a moment I could fly. I ended up on a third story ledge and jumped again to the rooftop. I thought freedom was mine when I suddenly awoke; it was all a dream.
I opened my eyes and heard the beeping of the monitors and waited. Waited for the reality to sink in as it so bluntly did each morning. I woke up and remembered it all and shook my head a bit to blur out the details I didn’t wish to remember. I yelled out to let my nurse know I was awake. My throat was dry and I could tell I was thirsty.
“Madeline.” I tried to shout. I wasn’t very successful but she rushed to my side immediately.
“Good morning Mr. Filch. Did you have a nice rest.” She said in her sweet, young tone.
“Yes, it was fine.” I assured her. I didn’t need to bore her with the details of my dreams and restless sleep.
“Good, here lets sit you up.” She pushed a button on my bed to raise me from my sleeping position. I slowly began to see all the details of the room, inch by inch. Once I was somewhat sitting up she put a straw into my mouth and I sipped without her telling me to. It was amazing how refreshing a stale glass of water could be.
“You have a guest this morning, Mr. Filch. Its your granddaughter, should I send her in?”
I would have shrugged if I could. “Turn the TV on first, I’d like to have the news on.”
She clicked the remote to turn on a television that hung from the ceiling. A young forecaster pointed to a regional map, explaining something about a cold front. I ignored it and turned my gaze toward the slim glimpse I had of the window.
I heard the click of Emily’s heels before I saw her. She was dressed in her school uniform, carrying a satchel bag. “Good morning Grandpa.”
“Morning dear.” I responded, smiling a bit.
She sat down in my view, but careful to not block the TV. She was smart that way.
I waited for the nurse to leave the room and looked at Emily. “Today’s the day.”
“I know.” She said, looking down. “Are you sure about this?”
“Yes, very.” I said. “This isn’t a life.”
“You don’t have to though. Give it another year and things may change. Congress is already talking about making it legal.”
“I don’t feel like waiting. I can’t go on like this. I hope you understand.”
“You don’t have to do it. I know you dear, you could get in a lot of trouble.”
“Its not that Grandpa. I know how to cover my tracks.” She leaned in. “I’m just going to miss you so much.”
“We’ll see each other again dear.” I assured her, wondering myself if that were true. Emily was such a good girl and I remembered every moment of my life.
“I know.” She looked out the window. “You know about the side effects?”
“Yes, yes. Lets get on with it. Madeline is making her rounds. We only have about an hour.”
She took out a vile and syringe and began her work. “The drug is untraceable. They’ll pronounce you dead, you’ll go to the morgue and when you wake up you’ll be…well.”
“You don’t have to explain dear. Just get it done.” I closed my eyes and waited. I heard her say a soft goodbye as the monitor began to beep. I was gone.