Monday, June 3, 2013

R.I.P. for my current W.I.P. (well, sort of..)

For my first two books (Blood and Groom and Dead Light District) I did not use an outline.  In my head, I knew from the outset whodunit, why and how.  Each of those books practically wrote itself; in fact, each was written in about six months.  I can almost say that each book practically wrote itself.  I got lucky.

The Lies Have It was a different story.  It took six YEARS of starts and stops.  I knew from the start who and why... I kind of knew how too, but the story lacked a solid framework.  Perhaps I should have used an outline; it might have saved me months and months of work!  Who knows?

So, now what about book four... 
Well, I've just declared R.I.P. for my current  W.I.P.  Well... sort of...

The fourth Sasha Jackson Mystery is called Frisky Business.  It's set within the world of the dirty movie business.  I've been poking away at it for about two years.  

This week, I've come to the realization that I need to scrap what I've got and begin anew.  That kind of sucks, but deep down, I am okay with it.  The story was spinning way out of control and I had far too many characters.  If I can't keep the storylines and people straight in my own head, how can I expect readers to??? 

I've spent the past couple of days writing a very detailed outline and I know it will be much smoother to write the book from this point onward.  I can still use lots of what I've previously penned - many of the characters and their backgrounds will be resuscitated, the major story arcs will be retained, the setting remains the same, and I'll rework some of the clues.  

I think that this time around, having an outline will rein me in.  I sure hope so.  I really want to get this story done and get it out there. At the rate I'm going, I expect to finish the manuscript by August if not a bit sooner :)

So, from someone who never thought an outline was necessary, well, I'm singing a different tune now!

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