I finished the second scratch of the outline of Werewolves On A Train today. I still have a bit of work left before this phase of the outline is done, but it’s a milestone reached all the same.
I now know what will happen in each of the three acts of each of the twenty stories I’m planning to write.
Before I began this phase I had nineteen stories planned, and now I have twenty. One of the latter ones turned out to be a little bit too complex for my purpose. The whole idea of making this a series is to write a lot of short and simple stories in order to practice my storytelling. Each story is about one thing, but there was a story which turned out to make a lot more sense as being about two things, so I split it into two stories.
Overall, I feel good about being done with this part of the outline, but…
I have some doubts about the last two stories. They’re going to be quite difficult, and they’re going to be almost all talk and very little action. All the other stories have a certain amount of action to them. They’re fairly easy to understand. There’s a conflict of some kind and it needs to be resolved. The conflicts are simple, and they’re solved by actions.
Bad guys in the way? Beat the bad guys. Bad guys on your tail? Run away.
The last two stories are not like that. They’re where everything comes together and where everything that’s been left unresolved is finally being cleared up. It’s not much, but it’s all stuff that can’t be fixed by running away from someone or beating someone up.
Not that that’s all that’s happening in all the other stories, but for simplicity’s sake let’s say it is.
The last two stories are mostly about people talking. It’s unlikely to be interesting if you don’t know the backstory of the characters involved. So I need to make sure my readers know, and remember, the backstory. There are some facts about the characters that are important at the end that don’t really factor in all that much throughout the other stories.
I also want the stories to be such that you can pick them up and read them as standalone stories, without having to have read all of the previous ones. I think I’ll be able to make that work with the many of them, but not with all, and definitely not with the last two. It’s not a high priority goal, but it’s something I’ll try for at least.
The next thing I want to do is to write down a list of all the promises for all the stories. I only recently got my head around the concept of promise, which is basically the promise that the story makes to the reader about what the reader will experience if they keep reading.
I’ve written down the promises for all the stories as part of the outline, and now I want to put all the promises in a list. I’m thinking it’ll be interesting to get an overview of what kind of stories I’m writing.
I also need to finish up the trope lists for all of the stories. They turned out to be really helpful in how they summed up the stories as little building blocks to create the story with. I did it for the first seven or eight and then I stopped because finding all the tropes took a lot more time than writing the rest of the outline. I still want to do it though, but that’s for tomorrow.