Sunday, August 4, 2013

Book Update—The Reverse Outline is Complete!

Well, the title says it all, really. If you've been reading my blog posts lately, you will know that for the past month or so I've been working on reverse outlining my book—which is where you make an outline of the finished draft in order to gain a stronger understanding of what needs to be fixed/rearranged/added/deleted in the novel. 

Anyway, I've just finished. So that's exciting. And by finished I mean I'm done with the reverse outline process, not editing the book. Now I need to look at the hundreds (literally) of notes I took while re-reading the manuscript and reword sentences, fix grammatical errors, combine a few chapters, and add some descriptors (I noticed I used a lot more descriptors in the second half of the book compared to the first, which I found interesting).

I'm guessing this will also take a while, but I feel like once I finish doing that I will be actually done with the book (I used to think writing the first draft would leave me with most of the grunt work finished, but that was really just the tip of the iceberg). After that I'll send it to a friend to read and then start trying to get an agent. 

One interesting thing I should note is how I re-read my book. I did a good chunk of the reverse outline while on vacation in Arizona, and so I didn't want to bring my big binder of loose paper that is my third (and most current) draft. Instead I saved my paper as a PDF and transferred it to my eReader (a Nook) and took notes in an Ironman 2 kids notebook that was really cheap. I feel like this actually helped compared to outlining the actual Word document because it prevented me from trying to re-write sections as I was reading, which, in the past, has prevented me from making very much progress. Whenever I noticed something I didn't like, I just left a quick note about what page it was on and what I didn't like, then moved on. 

Anyway, this is my first book and my first time using various editing methods, so I thought I'd just share some observations from the experience. 

Have a super awesome day!

And, in case you were looking for a picture of a dude and his cat playing a complex board game, here you go . . .

(Leo playing PowerGrid)