New Year Resolutions? Pah! I feel they simply set me up to fail ... But a review of what worked last year and what didn't - that's a worthwhile exercise. It seems clear that this blog has tipped from being about Bunny and the Bloke into Bunny and her Books! That's fine. I feel the non-specific name gives me licence to slip into other subjects - to vent, to rant, to opine on things other than good (or bad) reads. Or even about writing ... that big scary (for me) topic.
I have just one major objective this year - other than to keep on scribbling as ideas, thoughts and inspirations come my way - I intend to plan or outline a novel. All my writing has been very much by the seat of the pants, when the flow was flowing etc ... Now it's time to see if I can take one of these ideas and make it into something whole - something with a beginning, a middle and an end. Something with a story to tell, with an antagonist and a protagonist, something with tension, something that's going somewhere further than my files (and piles) of scribbling.
I will go on reading - of course - like I could stop! But there's always one perfect reason for reading - how much there is to learn from other writers and not just to read for pleasure and entertainment. To go back and examine what and why I enjoyed one book and not another. How a tale has been crafted to provide maximum tension and pleasure. Not just to say that a book isn't for me, or that I didn't enjoy it - but to decipher what and why. It's as important to learn how to avoid getting it horribly wrong ... and I know that I do a lot of getting it horribly wrong right now!
This sole objective doesn't replace or cancel those writing goals I detailed in October. Those goals were specific but I see them as being around my blogs and preparedness for my Life Coaching, rather than related to writing with a capital W (or is it F for Fiction?) It did cover other works of preparedness that would be required of me in order to write (with that capital W), but my analysis has identified that this is where I get stuck. That without the outline, without a story structure, I have nothing to fill in when I sit down ready to write. All other goals could grow into useful tools or build into procrastination, but having no idea where a story is going - that is a genuine problem. So, its time to focus on that hole, on filling it with suggestions of "how to" from other writers, to learn from those who have taught this particular skill before. I feel that allowing this lack to continue would be the biggest procrastination ever.
So ... I give myself to the end of March to indulge in the input phase. I will read - books, blogs, articles, you name it, I'll give it a go. I will listen to online talks and seminars ... and then I will sit down and make a plan.
I am ready for it to be rubbish, for me to discover that the story I plan to write doesn't have much of a tale there to tell and that's why its fallen short so far. And if this comes to pass, then I will start again with a new plan ...
Any advice, hints & tips, or knowledge you'd be prepared to share on the subject of planning or outlining would be very much appreciated.