I am an emerging fiction writer living in Chicago. While I am a Luddite, I am using the forum because I love to meet new people, especially fellow artists, and learn new things.

Anyone interested in reading my published work can access it through the link under the My Web Site header on this blog. My short story "Life Goes on Without Me" recently won an honorable mention from Conclave: A Journal of Chracter's 2009 Fiction Contest. I am currently working on a novel, new short stories, and a creative non-fiction essay. My friend T.E. Russell has encouraged me to write a screenplay.

And as always, I am still submitting, submitting, submitting.

I look forward to meeting and reading from you.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Outlining a novel.

After my best friend, who is also an amazing writer and honest critic, got on my back about finally writing my novel several years ago, I have embarked on this genre. So far I have struggled with my efforts. I wrote to just write. There was no structure. No story. To quote Janet Desaulniers, my graduate school adviser, I was telling myself the story.

In 2005 I attended an amazing week-long seminar called The Art of the Story led by Tom Jenks. Tom is the editor of Narrative and a former fiction editor at The Paris Review, Esquire, GQ, and Scribners. Through his teaching, I am now outlining and am finding it very helpful as well as laborious.

Back in June I attended the Printer's Row Book Fair with my friend Vesna. One of the writers we saw was Joyce Carol Oates. Oates said that the first six weeks of planning a novel is the hardest, and I agree. Tom did tell me that it makes the writing of it more fruitful. Perhaps that is another reason she is so prolific.

I am curious how many of you writers outline your work?

1 comment:

Yansor said...

I take notes in my little black book and I talk alot about the plot with two guardian angels, my husband and my dear friend laure who usually reads the first drafts of all my work. I find outlining the book in a definite way too constraining for me...