Saturday, July 20, 2013

First Time in AZ

(Photo from the hotel room. Thirty second exposure.)

Okay, so this is my second time to Arizona, but the first time I never left the airport so that doesn't really count. 

My wife had a conference for her work in Tucson, and I was lucky enough to tag along. Having no work myself, I spent a large chunk of time working on the reverse outline of my book (reverse outline = outlining a finished draft). I finished a little over a third of the book, and so far I'm glad with what I've written. The reverse outline process has helped a lot in figuring out the pace of the novel as well as which chapters might be better consolidated, separated, or deleted altogether. 

The biggest help, I think, is the pacing. After each chapter, I write what the primary purpose was (action, background info, processing what just happened, etc)—this really helps prevent four chapters of Action-Action-Action-Action or Background info-Background info-Background info. 

I know the idea of outlining a book that's already written may sound crazy or like a lot of extra work, but it's given me a lot of confidence in what I've written. It is a decent amount of work, but I think it's worth it. 

(I had my most recent draft on my Nook, and I took notes in my sweet Ironman 2 notebook)

One of the things I realized as I was reading the book was that I never gave myself any credit for actually finishing a novel. Once I finished, I just went straight to editing and working on other short stories. Writing a book is something I've always wanted to do, and I've done it. And I'm a little bit proud—even if nothing more comes from the book . . . but hopefully something does!

While in Arizona, we also did some sightseeing. Here are a few photos. 

(Pano at the Grand Canyon. You may want to enlarge this by clicking!)

(Annie being adventurous on Tucson Mountain.)

(Annie and me at the Grand Canyon)

I'm back in Minnesota now, and it's hard to find time between my job to work on the novel. I'm hoping to finish the reverse outline by the end of July, as well as finish the slight revisions I'm noting along the way.