Novel #2 Outlining: Notes!

As far as my biggest goal of this year is coming along, phase 1 of my second novel’s outlining is underway. And by underway, I mean that I am taking notes, and have been- albeit slowly- for the past six months. They’ve been collecting in various notebooks, scraps of paper, phone apps, and, of course, my head. And now I’ve taken to transcribing them onto my computer.

I’ve realized now how many notes there actually were. (A lot!)

After several days, I have managed to collect them into one massive document of 10,000 words. It’s full of character ideas, random excerpts, notes-to-self, and a lot more.

Now what?

Now I’m going to begin making a character bible, a big document describing the characters in detail, to refer back to at later points. I’m going to have to sift through all of the notes I have so far and pick out what I would actually like to use. Then I’ll build off of what I have with more ideas.

I know already that my secondary characters are going to need a ton of fleshing-out. The only character I have mostly figured out is the main one. XD

My first novel was very plot-driven and all of the characters were two-dimensional. So this time I’m trying to focus on developing characters first, and then plot. To learn more about this I’m reading Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll begin building a more substantial outline. Well, I guess I have to start somewhere. 🙂


6 thoughts on “Novel #2 Outlining: Notes!

  1. fencer says:

    I don’t know if it helps or not – I am definitely not an expert.

    But in my own process of working on the first draft of a novel, I’ve found that there is a useful, and fairly low, limit to how much background you need do, say for characters. You need enough to get a good sense of them, but much more than that can be a waste of time once you get into the flow of the story, and everything has to shift a little.

    One e-book I found very useful on character, by getting to the essentials, is one by author C.S. Lakin, Writing the Heart of Your Story. Half the book or more is about devising characters, and creating and understanding their internal dynamics that will help form the story, rather than all the external background stuff.

    Helped me anyway!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Victorien says:

      Thank you for the comment! I find it very helpful and interesting to hear other writers’ methods of planning. I definitely agree about there being a limit to how much character research is really productive in the long run. I’ve been working on mine for quite a while and it’s been helpful, but that helpfulness is diminishing. I’m thinking it’s time soon to move on to the other big aspects of the book, like major plot points. And, of course, writing it!

      Also, I definitely want to check out that book! Seems to be something I can use right about now.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and for the wonderful message. I’ve been a little stuck lately, but your words inspire me to keep going. Have a great day!


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