The Editing Diaries– Grand Schemes and Outlines and Whatnot

Welcome to my series, The Editing Diaries!

In a nutshell, I’m editing my story LASER and bringing you guys along for the ride. I want you to see how my process for editing novels works (and maybe I’ll figure out my process with you). So, buckle your seatbelts, we’re going on a trip!


Hello, Reader-Peeps!

Diorama for Goodnight Moon

As Camp NaNo comes to a close (I joined a cabin, but did not really participate), I have begun to think about NaNoWriMo.

Not really seriously think about it. Just browsing my One Note file called “Sock Drawer” (I have plot bunnies in there, not socks). And thinking “Maybe I’ll write this one in November.” and “How could I actually make this concept work?”. And also thinking that I want my dear word war chatroom to be as busy as it once was during NaNo events (thinking about posting a link sometime closer to November).

But in order to participate in NaNoWriMo this November, I absolutely, no exceptions, must be done editing LASER.

At the very least, I must be done with the macro-edits and the big micro-edits.

So, that’s my grand goal. I finished outlining the rest of this pass last night. Goal: Be DONE with this pass by August 19th.

August 19th happens to be my birthday.

I really hope think that it won’t take me that long to finish this pass.

“What’s after this pass, Katie?”

Round 2. Which is like Round 1 except I have a better idea of what I’m doing. Maybe. Kind of.

Basically, I read through it again, making note of what needs to be fixed still. Then I edit again. Hopefully, it will be easier this round, but the beginning of the book has me a bit intimidated…

batman coffee

But I am determined to prevail. Death or Story!

Speaking of grand plots, I mentioned finishing an outline.

“But aren’t you a discovery writer, Katie?”

I’ve been wondering how true that is. I seem to do better writing if I have at least a vague idea of what needs to happen at least at certain points.

Which makes me think that maybe I’m not so much of a discovery-writer as I am an impatient outliner. I still like being surprised by my own plot twists and too much outlining does kill the excitement, but… I start so many mini-outlines throughout drafting and I almost always end up with a detailed outline at the end of the story.

I like knowing how everything comes together and how all the ends get tied up into a pretty bow. And ending outlines excite me and encourage me to hurry up and finish the darn thing.

And I don’t think I’ve ever followed an ending outline to the letter. I don’t feel restricted by these outlines. It’s not written in stone, it’s written on paper and folded up with a label and “If lost, please return to Katie, ASAP!” and a smiley face on it.

So… can I expand this ending outline to include a beginning and middle?

Maybe. Maybe not.

We’ll see.

So, how was Camp NaNo? Anyone still sprinting to the finish line? Who outlines and who discovery-writes (or both!)? Any tips about outlining? 

Everyone is happy




18 thoughts on “The Editing Diaries– Grand Schemes and Outlines and Whatnot

    Heh, I was planning on Camp NaNo, but Pariah’s taking much longer to rewrite this draft than I originally anticipated and I was gone most of the month anyway, so that went out the window. *le sigh* I still got out a little bit, though, so I think I’m going to make my much smaller goal for this month. *cheers*
    Also, if you’re ever in need of editing encouragement/time to rant/wailing with someone else/brainstorming, I’m around and feeling the same pain. xD

  2. Still battling through the last 1500 words of NaNo, but I can definitely finish by the 31st. (I’ve started freaking out about NaNo, too, but I think I may have a story idea.) And as for outlining–I’ve been a discovery writer since forever, but I tend to write up mini outlines while drafting, and for my next draft of Transform, I think I’m going to need to use an outline. So many people swear by them, but I just can’t deal with that much organization . . .

  3. I am…mostly prepared for NaNoWriMo this year. Well…ish. I’m going to write the sequel to my current project for NaNo. So I know what I’m doing, but… well, since I’m still fixing plot and stuff for the first book, I don’t know the plot that well for it. Which is why my goal is to finish draft two by Halloween. I know it’d probably be better to have more edits done before I write the sequel, but with draft two done and over with, I’ll have most of the macro edits done, which means my plot is actually mostly coherent. Plus, if I can figure out where the series is going by writing book two, then I can better make sure I have all of the proper foreshadowing in book one.

    I used to think I was a discovery writer, and then I somehow ended up outlining, and now… well, I consider myself a planner, but not an outliner. And what that means is, I have to plan a novel before I start it. But I don’t outline it. What I’ll do is I’ll figure out all of the characters, I’ll do as much world building as I can stand (which probably isn’t as much as it should be) before my brain melts, and I’ll figure out the beginning and possible directions for the story to go. So I’ll basically plan the whole novel except the middle is hazy and the ending is completely unknown, if that makes sense.
    So I’m still sort of discovery writing. But the key is, I do have to figure out possible directions for the plot to go in, even if none of them are necessarily going to happen or even likely.

  4. I had a plot bunny… Basically, the concept is, “What if dreams were real and we were the heroes of the dream world?” I’m really excited to work with one of those characters. He goes by Arden, and he is a bit like Percival from Liam’s Phil Phorce.

  5. Welcome to the “I thought I was a discovery writer” club, dear. I’m still figuring out how much of a planner and how much of an “I’ll figure it out later” person I am. Sometimes I plan some and it’s super helpful, something I’m following the plan and suddenly a new character announces themselves and changes everything (which is frustrating), and sometimes I plan as much as I can possibly think of and it’s STILL not enough (looking at you, last year’s NaNo novel!) and I wonder if maybe I’m meant to be a scene by scene outliner after all. So. All this to say, I don’t know what I am, but I know it’s not a complete panster now.

    I still start stories with nothing but a name and one “concept,” though. Remember Chords? I started it knowing only one thing: It had to do with music. Literally just started writing. And my latest short story (Starweaver) was like that, too.


  6. *raises hand* I outline!! I ALWAYS OUTLINE. There are a few books I’ve gone into with like 2 sentences of idea where I’m going and those books are awful. The books I much prefer and have hope for a better life are the ones I actually OUTLINE. *nods* I basically just write a really detailed synopsis, in bullet-points, and call it an outline and award myself with a cookie, or a small planet. Either/or. I HOPE YOU REACH YOUR GOALS!! 😀 I had a goal to finish edits by August because August was my character’s name and I figured it was fitting. xD

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