Women's fiction author, Joani Elliot, (September 2019 NYC Pitch) just informed her workshop leader, Susan Breen, that an offer from Jennifer Weis Agency was forthcoming following the NYC Pitch and that the NYC Pitch played a major role in sealing the deal. No surprise there! Congrats to Joani.
Dispelling the myth that outlining isn't welcome or needed for novel writing - All Genres
Consider, do screenplay writers or playwrights just start writing without any planning? Of course not. So why should the novel be different? And we're not talking about Beckett or Joycean flights of fancy, we're talking about the vast bulk of commercial novels, whether they be upmarket or genre.
Ever heard this? Don't plan or outline your novel, let the character write the novel, or even more simply, "Just start writing." How many times have I heard that? And guess where? At a writer conference, of course. A certain type of author is asked whether or not they plot or outline ahead of time. They smile and say something like, "I've been asked this question before, and I have to say no, I don't outline. It just all comes to me, the character inhabits me..." or some such drivel.
But let's be logical.
If you understand the primary foundations for writing a novel you know your plot line must develop certain points as it moves forward, and you know also that you must write separate scenes in the novel to perform certain tasks relevant to the plot line, as well as to the character arcs, etc. It's a complex undertaking, and one that demands a certain amount of planning. If you are some kind of genius and can keep it all in your head, more power to you, but if you are like me, you need to organize and place ideas on paper (or on the computer). Also, logic dictates that if your novel plot lines are a series of circumstances, reversals, and events that tie together (like "Harry Potter"?), it only makes sense that you better know how point A gets to point M before you will know how point M gets to point Z.
Consider, do screenplay writers or playwrights just start writing without any planning? Of course not. So why should the novel be different? And we're not talking about Beckett or Joycean flights of fancy, we're talking about the vast bulk of commercial novels, whether they be upmarket or genre. By the way, let me introduce you below to one of J.K. Rowling's outlines for a Harry Potter novel, Order of the Phoenix.
Guess it's a little hard to argue that good ole J.K. didn't know what she was doing? Anyone see dollar signs?
- Michael Neff
Illud mollis moderatius
Eum facete intellegat ei, ut mazim melius usu. Has elit simul primis ne, regione minimum id cum. Sea deleniti dissentiet ea. Illud mollis moderatius ut per, at qui ubique populo. Eum ad cibo legimus, vim ei quidam fastidii.
Ex ignota epicurei quo
Quo debet vivendo ex. Qui ut admodum senserit partiendo. Id adipiscing disputando eam, sea id magna pertinax concludaturque. Ex ignota epicurei quo, his ex doctus delenit fabellas, erat timeam cotidieque sit in. Vel eu soleat voluptatibus, cum cu exerci mediocritatem. Malis legere at per, has brute putant animal et, in consul utamur usu.
His at autem inani volutpat
Te has amet modo perfecto, te eum mucius conclusionemque, mel te erat deterruisset. Duo ceteros phaedrum id, ornatus postulant in sea. His at autem inani volutpat. Tollit possit in pri, platonem persecuti ad vix, vel nisl albucius gloriatur no.