First Critique Is In...

I came back from an eventful Cub Scout camping trip to find my first MS critique in my inbox. I was so excited, yet so nervous to read it. Finally I made my self go through it and...

It wasn't completely horrible! Actually it wasn't horrible at all.

After I hit send to throw my work out into the universe, I immediately remembered all of the things that I forgot to fix: the inconsistencies, the chapter that was cobbled together from different parts that didn't quite get smoothed over, and-knowing where how all this began-I was was really worried about boring my reader to death. She still had enough life left in her to send me her thoughts, so at least that last fear was unfounded.

I'm still waiting on a second CP, and enjoying my time away from the story. I need a break from it, because it has occupied so much of my time for the past 5 1/2 months. First haphazard draft, and first haphazard re-write really take a lot out of person.

In the meantime I had a brain blast of an idea this past week that I'm toying with, but I don't know if I have the ability and energy to work on two WIPs at a time.  Especially since the new idea would be a lot harder to organize and write (multiple POVs, a bit of world building, and a lot of conflict in the story). I am a pantser, but this idea would require some form of outlining before I could even begin, otherwise I know I would get frustrated trying to keep the details straight and quit. However, I hate the idea of planning a story ahead. To try to ease my pain, I've been shopping around for different ideas of organizing the story without losing a lot of the spontaneity I love about writing.

Does anybody have any ideas or suggesions for outlining a novel without actually outlining it?


  1. I love new story ideas! I don't work well on two different stories, though. I wish I did! I know a lot of people really love to. As far as outlining, I love Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet. I know a pantser who loves it, too, but I'm more of a plotter, so I don't know how well it works with pantsers. Best of luck with the book and the organizing quest!

    1. I keep hearing about Save the Cat. I just look at the beat sheet and start getting anxious about having to think ahead. Although I know using something like that would save me a lot of time and effort in the long run.

  2. Congratlations on sending your work out. That can be the scariest part of writing - allowing someone else to see it. I have something you can try if you don't like traditional outlines:

    Best of luck with your manuscript. I look forward to visiting again.



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