And more of the same… OHIO 2 (NO… THREE) Revision

I’m going through all five novels.

At the moment, I’m tearing apart Book One, which I got right, to find out where I need to take Book Two THREE in the revision.

It’s a complicated process, and I’m managing to give myself regular headaches going through it. And all of this is my own damn fault.

I have a good process for plotting and writing novels, but somehow, I was having so damn much fun with these that I didn’t use my process. I essentially pantsed my way through Books 2-5, having built out my four line-for-scene outlines for each of the remaining four books… and then ignoring the damn things to chase “better ideas.”

Well, if you know what works for you, and you decide to ignore your proven process to go rabbiting after “Ooooh, SHINY!!!”, you deserve what you get.

And here I am.

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By Holly

Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

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Mike Lucas
9 months ago

Hi Holly, in this post do you mean Ohio 3? I thought Ohio 2 revision was complete and you were happy with it?

Regarding your process, I believe you had stated at some point that it was part of the process to try and “beat” what you had in your outline. Not sure I’m remembering that correctly? But if I am, I wonder if that’s the crux, being able to differentiate between an idea that is “in the realm of the outline but better” vs. “way out in left field”?

Hang in there. I’ve been reading a lot of Brandon Sanderson lately who has stated he is a serious plotter who creates detailed outlines and pretty much sticks to them. His books are great, but I often find at the most crucial moments of the story, I get this feeling like “the character only did that because the author needed him to!”. It’s very annoying and I often put the book down for 2-3 days in disgust, before picking it up again because the rest of the story and world-building is so damn good.

All that to say, there is definitely something to be said for NOT sticking to a rigid outline and to follow your story/characters naturally. But those of us who work that way need to learn how to avoid the pitfalls (or massive chasms) of our method.

Reply to  Mike Lucas
9 months ago

Hi Holly, in this post do you mean Ohio 3? I thought Ohio 2 revision was complete and you were happy with it?

Yeah. That was a weary brain fart probably caused by beating my head on the desk one time too many yesterday.

And… I cannot follow an outline.

I always outline. But then my brain insists on playing “beat the outline” and most of the time this works really well for me when writing my first draft.

When it doesn’t…

Well, then I find myself here, and the process then becomes to beat the part of the story I broke with something really damn cool than my brain digs out of backstory, little dropped pieces of concepts from previous books, walking in circles in the office talking to myself as various characters…


Answering your comment here gave me the answer to the problem I ran into in Book 3 yesterday, and the answer to an unanswered question I tripped over in Book 1 (I discovered what a little thing I introduced into the first book and then never used actually does, and it’s cool as shit!) —

And now I know what it does, and I also know why I never used it.

It’s because I did. I just didn’t realize until now that THAT’S THE ANSWER!!!

I love shit like this. Thanks for the good question/comment.

Mike Lucas
Reply to  Holly
9 months ago

Glad it helped! (Even if I won’t understand why until I read book 3 LOL!)

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