I’m almost finished outlining my next manuscript. I have the beginning and ending firmly in mind and most of the characters fleshed out. I have several scenarios and ways to segue between them. I don’t know if I’m writing a novel or a novella or a short story. It depends on how long it takes to tell the story without drifting off into fluff and filler.
This will be a great exercise for me in description. Just putting together the outline has taken me out of my bottom line comfort zone and allowed me to try using some of the techniques my fellow bloggers have been discussing to enrich my characters, situations and places – trying to paint pictures with words.
I need the outline for the same reason I need my lists. I have a short attention span and am easily distracted. Having the outline helps me focus. Originally it consisted of brief descriptions of the beginning and ending scenes. Now it’s several pages of notes and ideas that seem to be popping into my brain faster than fireworks on the 4th of July. It’s self-expanding like a bag of microwave popcorn.
I really wasn’t concerned about it until I mentioned to a friend that the main character was a woman in her 50’s. Her comment was, “Who wants to read about a woman in her 50’s?” Uh, Me? I’m trying to write what I know best. If I can draw a rich portrait of her and her situation and populate the book with interesting situations and characters, what’s wrong with having an older main character? Do they all have to be in their 20’s to 40’s to be interesting?
What do you think?