Two Novels

As a novelist, my skill is still undeveloped.  Currently, I am working on two different novels.  One will be the first book in a serial, and is not intended to be the first book that is completed.  The second is very much an experiment.  Both are complicated in their own ways, but the second story is fairly straightforward as far as the actual storytelling goes, at least from my perspective.  It is made up of pieces fitted together to make a bigger picture, though the individual storylines don’t seem to belong together.  The risk, of course, is that they don’t really belong together, but I’ll have to finish before I know for sure.

The first is a story that I burn to tell, but it must be put together very carefully.  It’s a bit different from many stories I tell, because it’s got some thriller elements that complicate the underlying science fiction setting.  I’ve come to realize that my typical sketchy outline will not suffice.  I’ve already started and stopped a few times, because the lines of thought didn’t follow to the end after developing my usual outlines.  Now, I’m outlining thoroughly to ensure the story tracks throughout (at least, as best as I can from an outline) before going ahead with the writing.  So, while I’m outlining this story, I’m writing the other.

The experiment is one that I have to write before I can even begin to outline.  While I know exactly where it’s going, I’m not quite sure how I’m going to get there.  I’m finding out by writing it down.  I’m sure it’s going to require a lot of revision after the first draft, if for no other reason than I’m learning so much about my characters as I write that I’ll have to go back and make sure it’s all in there from the beginning.

In other words, I’m using two completely different processes for two very different novels.  It should be interesting to see which project is a success.  I hope both are, but if one is and the other is not, it might say a great deal about the process I should use to write novels.

About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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2 Responses to Two Novels

  1. Sue says:

    I will be interested in hearing how your experiment is going. I had a basic outline for my first novel in my head, but I did not write it down as I had to develop my characters too. I then used an outline for the introduction when I was doing my rewrites. I found the outline helped tremendously, but I’m not sure it would have in the initial phase. I am planning to outline my second novel, but I already have the main character from my first novel and I am jotting down my thoughts on character development and gathering research about things I want the main character to accomplish prior to doing my outlines.

    FYI, I started a new blog to focus more on the writing process itself. I am keeping the original blog too, but I will be using it more for autism/ anti-bullying advocacy and my forgiveness and gratitude posts. The new blog is Brainstorming to Publishing and Beyond. The url is It is also a Word Press blog. I am beginning slowly so there is only one post so far. I plan to do another post soon.

    I hope to make it back to your blog sooner next time. I have been neglecting you and others.

  2. Sue, Thanks for stopping by. I understand how time can get away from you between visits, especially for blogs that are just gearing up. And I will add your new blog to my list and see what’s going on over there!

    So far the experiment is going well. I thought it would be hard to do so much outlining ahead of time, because I usually sketch out a rough idea ahead of time and write my way through it, but I’m thinking of a lot of interesting things that probably would have seemed too trivial to try to work back into a manuscript. This way I can weave them in all the way through and, I hope, have richer characters for it.

    On the other hand, I’m getting a lot more distance with the story I’m writing without outlining. Progress is steady, but there will be a lot of rewriting.

    I do wonder which will take longer. What seems like little progress now may turn out to be more efficient when I’m finished.

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