Monday, April 27, 2009

Character Outlines

Over the weekend I tried to get some outlining done on this novel. As before, I got stuck on getting the details down. However, this time I leaned the source of my frustrations from previous attempts at outlining. I was trying to work out too much detail for each of the scenes. So, I decided to work on the climaxes for the novel. I was a little more successful there, but only for the first third of the book. At this stage of writing a novel I think I only need to have the basics of the events of the story in mind rather than a detailed description of each scene. More on the reason below.

Setting the plot aside, I decided to do some work on my characterization. First, I worked on the main character. This is my new main character due to the story changes I made a few months ago. I am getting a much better feel of who she is and what she wants in life. This is something I was unaware of previously. She is coming more alive now than ever. In fact, as I developed her character I came to get a better feel for one of my supporting role characters. So much so that I can see a strong dynamic between these characters building.

As I stated above, I think only need the basics of the storyline at this stage because as I developed the main character (MC) and this supporting character I discovered scenes that I could place in the novel that would play out the dynamic relationship these characters have. These scenes would never exist had I not developed the characters as I did today.

With this experience in mind, I may later take the last two thirds of this project and draft up a very basic sequence of events. Using those basic events I can then delve deeper into the minds of these characters. In addition, since I have two new characters being introduced in the middle third, I can take that time to develop their characters and build scenes based upon their personalities.

Overall I am quite pleased with these results. I think, for me at least, having a basic outline of a novel may be important before I begin characterization. I don't know that this technique will continue to work on this project or any future projects. However, I will go along with it as long as it works.

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