ROW 80 Writing to a Deadline Part 7: “Writing from the Outline” #2 AKA: OMIGOSH I did it!

OMIGOSH I did it!

Okay, I was not a fan of the outline going into this, but now I totally am.  I finished the first draft this weekend, and despite the lack of explosions, I am quite tickled with it.

1.       Read the section of the outline for the scene I was about to write

2.       Check the allotted word count

3.       Write only what the outline told me to (kept me focused)

4.       Go back and make sure I covered everything required in the scene

5.       Check the word count after completing each section

I started to get scared because I was 150 words over in the first two scenes, which is a lot in a 10,000 word piece.  The good thing is, I over-allotted words for my turning point/revelation, and my climax.

In the end, I had 9,240 words.  Yay!  Words to spare.

Now, what is really awesome about this is since I stuck to my outline, I have no extraneous scenes to edit.  Every scene is important to draw the plotline forward.  There are no “Little Darling” scenes that I have to pull my hair out over cutting.  It’s a great place to be.

There are a few scenes that I need to go back and edit before beta-reading.  One I purposely wrote as “tell” because I wasn’t sure how to “show” her walking across a snow bank.  Overall, I am in great shape, and I am happy with the story.

And I cringe to say it— but I never would have finished it that quickly without the outline.

Now— to Edit, Beta Read, and Polish before the submission deadline.

The clock is ticking


17 responses to “ROW 80 Writing to a Deadline Part 7: “Writing from the Outline” #2 AKA: OMIGOSH I did it!

  1. I go back and forth with outlines, although I can see how it would be more effective in a shorter work. I do outline pretty much everything but tend to pants it a bit in the actual writing. All the best for the coming edits and beta reading – have a great week, Jennifer 🙂

  2. I’m still fighting against outlines – but I’m glad it worked so well for you! Congrats on all the progress 🙂

  3. Exactly what I needed to read as I prepare my second draft as a plotter; yes, I am a recovering “oh, words take me wherever you will” writer but never again. Congrats to you; great news!


  4. Julie Catherine

    Good for you, Jennifer (and you too, Jenny!) – that’s an awesome accomplishment. I have to say that I’m a huge fan of the outline, especially when I’m in “fibro-fog” mode, lol. It really does help to keep you on track of where you’re going in either a novel, or even a short story. Way to go! ~ Julie 🙂

  5. I might try it sometime, but I admit I do like doing by the seat of my pants. Then I get to discover the story as its first reader.

    I’m sure this isn’t always appropriate though–word counts. 🙂

  6. I am so glad to hear that it worked out for you. Good luck with your submission!

  7. Good for you Jennifer, I knew you could do it! 🙂

  8. Good for you, Jennifer! I’m back-and-forth on my outline for my book.

    Plot to a sticking point. Write. The solution hits me. Plot again to next sticking point. Write. The solution hits me.

    Bruised! You’re right. Those outlines are brutal.

  9. Ah, but you are in a much better place than I. The only words that would flow out of me in my re-write could have been written by a 4th grader. Getting there, though. It will be off to betas today. Talk about getting down to the wire.