Row 80 4/2 Writing to a Deadline Part 6: “Writing from the Outline”

My goal is to get published.  At the moment, I am working on a novella for an Anthology.  This is where I am:

If you’re just hopping into the insanity that is my writing life, check out my previous “Writing to a Deadline” posts or this won’t make sense.

I’d love to tell you that this outline is absolutely useless, but I’d be lying.  I think it is actually helping me.

I keep referring back to it, which is good, because it is keeping me on track.

Since I have my story clearly outlined, I know all of the “little carrots” that need to be dropped early in the story so they are not “big surprise veggie bombs” later.  I even caught myself forgetting one, and I had the chance to re-write a conversation that included that little snippet before it was too late.

In the first three scenes, I set up my world (and clearly defined it since it is a Futuristic Dystopian).  Introduced all the characters.  Gave the conflict of the main character and all subordinate characters.

I looked at my word count— 2,685.

Hmmmm.  The submission guidelines say the story needs to be between 5,000 and 10,000 words.  Can I finish it in that parameter?

My outline has 26 items/scenes/”things that need to happen”.  Some are more in depth than others.  I very carefully looked over the list, and placed a word count next to each number.  This is how many words I think I will need to get each idea down.

300 here, 500 there, 1000 there, 2000  for the climax.  You get the idea.

When I totaled it all up it came to 9,685.  That was a bit of a surprise.  I thought it would be higher.  However, I am also brutally aware that I only have 315 words to spare.

Now, my challenge is to hold to those numbers.  If I can’t finish each item it the allotted word count, I need to subtract words from somewhere else.

The writer’s retreat is here.

Two full days of writing with a goal to finish.

Too lofty a goal?  We’ll see.

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8 responses to “Row 80 4/2 Writing to a Deadline Part 6: “Writing from the Outline”

  1. Really like your idea of assigning word totals for each idea in your outline. Seems to me it’s an excellent idea for scenes as well. Look forward to following your progress!

    Karen

  2. here’s to a fantastic writer’s retreat! hope you have a wonderfully productive time.

    as for the word count – i say overwrite, then edit.

  3. writerwendyreid

    Good luck and I wish you lots of success at the retreat. LET’S DO THIS!! :-)

  4. Good luck. Just write it out. Don’t forget to give yourself time for editing and revision after your first draft.

  5. I was waiting for your LET’S DO THIS!, Jennifer.

    Writing retreat? I’m envious for me, elated for you. GO FORTH AND CONQUER.

    I thought I may as well say that. You’re going to do it anyway. You rock!

  6. Good work by sticking to it:)