Saturday, July 20, 2013

Yet Another Mile Marker on the Writing Road

Scott D. Parker

Nothing too earth-shattering this week. Friday was Day 54 on my consecutive writing streak, and Day 15 on my more-than-1,000-words per day streak.

I made good progress, yet I found myself in uncharted territory. Unlike my first novel which I outlined in details, the current novel-in-progress is one I’ve had in my head for awhile now, but I never truly outlined it from beginning to end. That has always worried me, but I kept moving forward. Like Stephen King has said, it is fun being that first reader and discovering the story along with the characters.

As I reached a certain place in the book around Wednesday, however, I realized that I needed to map out the remainder of the book to make sure that I cover all the bases and wrap up any loose threads. This despite me pretty much knowing how the ending is going to go.

How ironic that at an author event at Houston’s Murder by the Book, another author mentioned the very same thing. Jeff Abbott and Marcia Clark had a joint event last night and, as always happens, someone asked about process. Abbott mentioned that he doesn’t always outline, but somewhere along the two-thirds mark, he outlines the remainder of the book. Clark agreed, noting that she always wants to ensure she addresses any loose threads that may not have been addressed.

I find it comforting to experience little guideposts along the way to completing this current book. This was another. It’s great to hear other successful, published authors do the same thing.


Brian said...

I've learned that I need to recalibrate for a day or two every 10 or so chapters (2k to 2.5k words) because the story has taken a number of new turns. At that point I set a new roadmap (not a full outline) for the next 10.

Scott D. Parker said...

Brian - Yesterday was my day of recalibration. I normally write in the mornings, but yesterday, I just thought about the last section of the book. After driving on numerous errands most of the day with my little piece of paper in front of me, I ended the evening with a short thousand words, but I had my road map. Interestingly, while writing this book, I recalibrated along the way, too. I actually liked it that way.