From the beginning, I’d thought that Evernight would come out in fall of this year, but it turns out I’m wrong; apparently the plan has long been for the book to be published in summer 2008. Although I’m eager to see my book in print, I really think the later date is going to work better for a lot of reasons. But the suspense!
I am sort of in limbo right now, waiting for my editorial notes on Evernight before I start work on book two in the series, Stargazer. I already know a lot of what happens — I submitted a rough outline for books two through four back in October, and my editor gave me the thumbs-up for the overall plot structure — but I’d still feel more comfortable plunging into the detailed outline after I know precisely what will and won’t change in Evernight.
Speaking of detailed outlines, I checked out First Draft in 30 Days: This isn’t about writing an entire book in 30 days — it’s about building an extremely comprehensive outline, from which your “second draft,” aka what anybody else would consider the “first draft,” will flow very quickly.
This book is probably extremely useful to writers who haven’t used outlines in the past, but I’ve blocked stories out for years, so I didn’t learn as much. However, I think a lot of writers are reluctant to outline for the wrong reasons, feeling that it will hinder creativity. Although this is undoubtedly true for many writers — and more power to every one of you — I think inspiration is sometimes romanticized as something that has to be completely spontaneous. I personally find outlining to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the entire process, and the outline never feels like a constraint on my writing. Instead, it provides support, and a baseline level of comfort.
And now I’ve somehow managed to make an outline sound like a sports bra. Clearly I need coffee.
In short: I’d recommend this book to anybody who hasn’t outlined in the past and wants to see how it would work, taken to an extreme. Even as an outliner, I feel like I’ve gotten something out of it. The outline for Evernight wasn’t extremely detailed, which meant I spent a solid six weeks wrestling with the pacing in the middle section of the book. I’d already decided to do something much more detailed for Stargazer, and this helped me focus on how to do that.
While waiting for my editorial notes, I am finishing up what will probably be the last long fanfic story I write for a while. (The fic will still be written, but for the sake of my sanity, not to mention avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome, I’m going to have to keep it to shorter pieces!) I’m also poking at a romantic thriller idea that I’d like to dive into between books two and three.
In short, even though summer 2008 feels like it’s a million years away, that’s also probably the next chance I’ll have to look up from my keyboard. Now, to locate coffee —