Sunday, November 15, 2009

Outlines, Like Rules, are Made to be Broken

Today marks the halfway point of National Novel Writing Month. Word count-wise, I'm about a day ahead of myself. Every night, before I fall asleep, I review the scene I wrote earlier, then look at my synopsis to see where I'm heading the next day. I sleep, hoping my subconscious kicks into gear while I sleep and the morning will bring brilliance in abundance.

Making an outline ahead of time keeps me on track -- sort of. But a funny thing keeps happening along the way to the end of my scenes -- new characters invent themselves. Very bossy folks, these new supporting cast members include Victor and Nayla Borenchenko, disabled scientists who defected Russia, and Jeremy, a glassblower with a drug habit. So the middle is a muddle, but I see the way out of the crazy maze I've weaved. And I'm having a blast.


Good friend John Towler, writing group buddy from the Nudge-Nudge Collective, and friends Greta Igl, Stephen Book, and Jane Banning, have released 30 Days, 30 Writes, a chapbook of short prose and poetry created last April in response to daily prompts. You can download the free pdf, or purchase the print copy. Treat yourself to some excellent reads.

Another friend, fellow fridayflasher and Harbinger John Wiswell from The Bathroom Monologues, faces surgery this Friday. He's suffers from a life-long neuromuscular condition and because of his per-existing condition, is unable to obtain health insurance. But rather than ventilate about the general suckiness of our health care system, I ask you to dig into your pockets and jiggle up some change to help him pay for his procedure. Please support a great person and writer by donating whatever you can. You can read more and support him HERE.

Write hard, dig deep, appreciate every minute... Peace, Linda


  1. You're doing great, Linda. Keep up the pace. It's the nature of writing for the characters to rise up in insurrection every now and then. I'm sure you'll mollify them and get them all working towards the same goal in the end. :)

    I knew about John's surgery, but did not realize he was uninsured. I'll help spread the word.

    Ah, health insurance - what a mess.

  2. Hey Linda,

    Thanks for spreading the good word about 30/30 and trying to help out John.

    Congratulations on keeping apace with your NaNo goals. I know what you are saying about those pesky "undiscovered" characters. Just wait until you feel like you need to kill one off. Boy-howdy to they ever start a squallin' and a bawlin' then! They are almost as bad when you try to cut their lines.

    Warm thoughts flooding your way, friend Linda.


  3. rules are good if you like that sort of thing.

    the 30 days 30 writes is awesome good work

    as for John, I so understand the gallbladder, lost mine back in the mid 90s and what a blessing it was. hospital bills with insurace are insance but without insurance is tragic

    thanks for the links

  4. Glad you're kicking butt on that novel, Linda. The characters that come about on their own or seem to take their own directions are worth enabling. Either they make your job easier, or you can edit them out later!

    Thank you kindly for linking to the Pledgie drive. You've been so sweet to me already.

  5. John W, Here's to a successful outcome and a healthy wallet, too. Goodluck!

    Paige, I agree -- illness alsone is stressful, Figuring out how to pay for treatment makes everything even more anxiety-producing.

    Peace, Linda

  6. Good on ya for keeping up with your goal! I often find that deviating from an outline is sometimes where the best, juiciest material comes from and I highly encourage it. I especially like the idea of the disabled scientists. We need more disabled people represented in science, even when it's fiction.

    Speaking of the disabled in science, I am loving taking biology class! I was thinking it would go towards a physics major if I ever decided to go back on that route (they require a year of bio and a year of chem), but I must say, I am really loving bio! Just thought I'd share my science love on here :)

    I will definitely donate some $ to John. Thanks for the heads up. Glad to help out a fellow writer when it's possible :)

    Lovin' your blogs as always...


  7. Ah Chrys, you always make me smile when you drop by.

    I love the biological sciences the best. Enjoy! you have a great mind for it... and thanks for helping out John - check out his blog, too. Very eclectic. Peace, Linda

  8. Hey so I went to help out John but I don't have Paypal - is there some other way to do it? Could even send a check or something...

    I was uninsured myself for seven years (while working even) so not to the same extent, but kinda know how it is and want to help!