To Outline or Not to Outline?

I am basically a seat of the pants writer, but I have found that I need a basic structure of where I want the story to go. I am NOT one of those writers with a wall full of storyboarded scenes for the entire novel. I like using The Snowflake method to give me direction. I start with one sentence that is the premise of the story. Then expand that sentence to a paragraph. The one paragraph becomes four. Then each of those paragraphs gets four paragraphs, yada yada…

I used that with The Ruby Queen and it worked well for me. I used a much simpler version for The Queen of the Cow Towns and it still worked well. For Sweet Rewards I used a basic Romance novel format. I suppose that went well, as it sold in my first round of queries.

I am now working on another Romance. With this one, I find myself hindered by a completely new set of constraints. I am setting it within the basic structure of The Queen of the Cow Towns. In that book, I give my secondary character a love interest, but do not go into detail because the book is not being told from her point of view. I thought writing a romance from her point of view would be nice. I didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be constructing a story set within another story. I can’t have major scenes happen to my secondary character that would certainly have been mentioned by my main character in the other story.

Now I have decided to go back to my snowflake outline and attempt to restructure my Romance with some more conflict. I suppose this is the part of writing I always thought was going to be the hard part. Marketing doesn’t even begin to compare with this, and I find that grueling.

So today, after having written 17,000 words and nine chapters, I go back to the beginning and write an outline. Yuck!

Until the next time; Write on!


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