By Krysten Lindsay Hager
However, when I started writing the sequel to my teen fiction novel, True Colors, I found myself having to rely on my notebook of info to make sure I got all my character, Landry’s, teachers’ and friends’ names right and making sure her class schedule seemed the same in the first book. Then, I began writing down the next ideas I wanted to hit on with the plot in book two: the big fight, the makeup scene, the misunderstanding, the high school orientation visit, the broken heart, etc. Without even realizing it I had done the unthinkable (at least to me)—I had written an outline. I told myself it was a one-time thing—it didn’t mean anything. But, once I actually signed a contract for the second book and realized there were readers and bloggers eager to continue reading Landry’s story past a second book, I decided to continue on with the Landry’s True Colors series and begin writing book three.
However, when I started book three I found myself complaining to my mom about a brick wall I was hitting with the plot. I sat down and began jotting down ideas of where to take the characters and when and how it would all get resolved when it hit me—this was an outline. I was officially an outliner. When did that happen and how did it sneak past me? Suddenly, I felt like I had crossed over to that side where the writers are always on short deadlines and drink too much caffeine, and wish there were more than twenty-four hours in a day. Had I sold out my creativity by pre-writing the plot’s direction? Or was I simply giving myself a guideline of where I could/should take the story and therefore making my life a little easier? And when did I start using Post-it Notes and those little sticky tab things to make my outline easier to read?
Soon I found myself going back to my outline as I fleshed out the story. It was strange and a little uncomfortable for me to write something based on a plot point I had come up with on my giant piece of paper, but I was able to do it. I still prefer to get the story out on paper (or the screen) before I begin to outline, but I can’t deny that with a series, outlining does makes things a little easier. Plus, you can color coordinate things with it and that requires a trip to the office supply store which is like nirvana.
Connect with Krysten:
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Krysten-Lindsay-Hager/e/B00L2JC9P2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
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