I’m back from Kansas, where I spent the last two weeks at a novel workshop.
My novel is back, too, in better shape than it was when it arrived in Kansas. My outline didn’t survive the trip, but I have a much more solid setup and the beginning, at least, is plotted out. Much of the old outline is still there, just altered. Some characters have vanished, there’s more stuff happening, motivations have been spruced up, and the major plot point fits the world better now. We’ll see what happens when I write it.
Taking apart books–mine and the other five–was a lot of fun. All of us arrived at different stages of the process, from barely an idea to a fairly solid synopsis, and all of us left with something that we can start writing.
I love the concept of workshopping an outline as much as I thought I would. I’m a lot happier making major changes to projects that I haven’t written yet. Throwing away words seems like a waste of time; throwing away an outline doesn’t. Also, plotting out a book is like doing a jigsaw puzzle, and I got to spend two weeks at it. Fun.