Holy crap; let's talk outlines. First of all...I have never been big on them. I'm such a dreamer I don't like to be bound to something. So normally, I sit and just let the words flow freely from my fingers. However, the other day my writing/critique partner David asked me if I have ever heard of Nanowrimo before. I had, but never bothered to check into what it was all about. He asked if I was going to participate this year. Curiously, I Google Nanowrimo and it's basically just a month of nonstop writing (November) a new novel in an attempt to write more than 50k words. It sounded pretty cool. I've always liked to push my limits. And I've written 10k-15k words before in one day, so I thought that I could do this if I put my mind to it.
Here is where the outlines come in. Thinking about writing a novel, completely from scratch without knowing where I want it to go in such a short amount of time terrified me. So I began outlining.
Currently I am on chapter seven of my WIP Pieces of Me. I began with outlining the rest of the novel to get an idea of what I like and what I even want to see. And then it took off from there. Last night I finished that outline and then went on to finish the outlines for the two remaining books in the Infinite Love series. I'm not sure of the titles yet, but WOW I had no idea how invested I would become with the characters and their stories before even beginning to write them!
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but the second book in the series will focus on Lee & Jacqueline. Good news is almost every reader loved Lee and was dying to see more of him. Most people didn't care about or hated Jacqueline. It will be interesting to see how they react when they get invested in her back story.
The third book in the series will focus on Austyn (Lee's cousin who will be introduced in book #2) and her boyfriend Avery. I'm surprised I didn't immediately start writing it after I finished the outline. I became so invested in Austyn's story and Avery's struggles. This may be one of the best books I'll ever write!
Let me jump back to Nanowrimo real quick. I have been really wanting to break into the paranormal romance genre, and had some ideas written down...but I saw a blurb I wrote about a possible zombie novel...so I ended up outlining an NA dystopian series. I think I've decided to mainly stay on the end of YA and the beginning of NA for all future novels. The characters better reflect myself. Anyways, the main character I focus on is a bad ass! And I love that. But I need to use a male protagonist on the next novel I wrote! (Hopefully paranormal romance).
What I am trying to say at the end of all this is OUTLINES are AMAZING! They will probably cut my writing time in half because I already have clear expectations of each chapter and how it is going to play out. I can't believe I waited this long to explore the possibilities of using them! I'm thankful I found out after my first novella and not six novels down the road! :)