The Magic Between Outline and Draft

I had an amazing time with my story last night.

That sounds kind of saucy, but bear with me, it was the perfectly respectable kind of amazing. I’d had a bit of productivity related angst all day, and even though I had two good sessions, I still felt like I wasn’t writing enough whenever I wasn’t writing.

2016-03-01 15.01.00
I’m back at Alchemy again. I’m happy to be there, and I get some good writing done. My coffee-shamans are happy to see me, and they bring me good coffee.

The scene is a long one, and it’s not yet done, and it’s more than half a week since I finished the previous scene. I want to try and stick to the One Scene A Week schedule. It worked really well with Emma’s Story and I’m hoping to do the same thing here.

So because there was still time left and more writing needed doing I sat down for a third session last evening. It turned out to be a bit of an experience out of the ordinary.

I write rather detailed outlines, for my stories (as you can see here) and when it comes to conversations, like in this scene I outline them too. I write our the exact words the characters will say and I make notes about what emotions they are feeling and expressing.

Before I start on the actual story I generally have a very good idea of what is going to happen and where the story is going.

Even then, last night I couldn’t stop writing because I had to see how it would end.

Somehow, between the last scratch of the outline, and the first draft of the story, the scene came alive. It stopped being a series of events and quotes and became something else. The characters become people, with memories and feelings and opinions I hadn’t even considered before, and that was amazing.

It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while it does, and I’m not sure I’ve experienced it this strongly before. It’s the magic of writing.

I’m sitting there, and I know what’s going to happen, and I know what’s going to be said, but I don’t know who my characters will be when they come out the other end, and that was what kept me at it until long after I should have stopped and gone to bed.

Hopefully at least something of the excitement I felt writing the scene will spill over to the reader.

Oh, also, when I’m saying scene, I really just mean that particular part of the scene – a section of conversation. I hope to take on the rest of the scene tonight.

2016-03-03 14.32.00
Yeah. More black coffee.
The Magic Between Outline and Draft

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