Writing Project: Dorian — Update 3

I was hoping to have finished my prep work on my next novel by now, but I’m still not quite there. Sometimes life intervenes with our plans. Stuff like work, taking my kid to the doctor, and changing burnt out headlights on my car just seem to happen randomly. Nonetheless, I have made great progress.

I went through all my major and minor characters and “interviewed” them. This is always fun because I learn a lot about them, and they start speaking to me in their own voices. After this I started the process of expanding the list of scenes / chapters which I had painstakingly created after a great deal of brainstorming.

This basic outline had 39 single-sentence bullet points, one per scene, totalling essentially one full single-spaced page. My goal was to expand each of these one-liners into a paragraph of maybe five to ten sentences. Adding this extra bit of detail to my basic thoughts works wonders to tease out deeper ideas and to discover plot gotchas early on.

As of now, I have turned that one page into fourteen pages of detail, and I’m only halfway through the outline. Most of these scenes expanded to the anticipated paragraph length. A couple grew to almost a full page each, and one clocked in at four pages. That particular scene has a lot of crucial details in it that will end up driving the rest of the plot, so I really wanted to get all my ideas down in black and white before carrying on.

I’d like to move faster on this, but at the same time I don’t want to rush it. This is a book I’ve been wanting to write for many many Earth years, so it’s very exciting to actually see it emerge before my eyes. My current estimate of when I’ll complete this process is … about another week. After I finish the detailed outline, I have a few more to-do items, which I think really help to make the scenes crisp and exciting for readers.

Stay tuned …

Richard Ewald


About Richard Ewald

Author of Suspense and Fantasy Novels

3 responses to “Writing Project: Dorian — Update 3”

  1. MishaBurnett says :

    Wow, I’m impressed. I just start putting words down and hope for the best.

    • Richard Ewald says :

      Sometimes I do that also. Depends on the story. And the reality for me is that, even though I make outlines to follow, they invariably undergo significant revision once the writing starts to flow. Then I struggle to keep the outline in sync with the real story as it’s developing. If I do it just so, my detailed outline eventually turns into a pretty good book synopsis. At least, that’s the theory. 🙂

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