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.