Outlining I Killed Them, Mama

8 Apr


I have gotten tired of floundering around in the plot, so I have taken a couple of days and been working on the outline.

The book has changed quite a bit over the last two days.

For example, when I was lamenting that it might not be long enough to be an actual novel a sister suggested that I use the diary entries as intros into each new development. From there I could slip into third party perspective and show, rather than tell, what was going on.  

Here is the first bit of my outline for I Killed Them, Mama:

  1. Amelia May Green is now Mrs. Lawrence.
    1. Describe the wedding a little bit.
    2. Say how she doesn’t understand why her mother was so concerned about her future if she followed family tradition and allowed her father to select her husband.
    3. Also explain that she is starting this diary “Since you left a journal of your life for me to read, I have started one for my future children.”
  2. Back from the honeymoon.
    1. Describe the trip in a paragraph or two.
    2. Then moving into the house.
    3. They decide to wait a few months before trying for kids.
  3. He’s starting to get rude and a bit verbally abusive. She thinks it’s just about something going on at work, and tries to keep him happy at home by making extra yummy dinners.
  4. He hits her.
    1. She is confused.
    2. When she goes shopping no one seems to notice the bruise and split lip.
  5. It’s been two weeks and he’s hit her a couple more times, also over stupid little things.
    1. She is not lying down and taking this.
    2. She tries to talk to her father about the abuse, but he just asks her what she did to provoke him.
    3. She tells her father-in-law (from now on it’s FIL), and he just treats it like it’s part of marriage.
    4. She goes to the family attorney and he says that it’s typical to the first few months of every marriage.
    5. She’s not convinced.
  6. It’s been another week and he’s hit her twice more.
    1. She goes to the police, and the sergeant won’t even look her in the eye when he tells her there’s nothing they can do.
    2. She’s starting to realize that the rumors of her new ‘family’ having the town under its thumb are not without merit.
    3. She decides that the people involved in getting her into this situation must die. It’s just a matter of how.
    4. FIL must have talked with hubby because now he’s hitting her in places that don’t easily show.

    *        *        *

How many of you have written a story or book off an outline?

Was it easier or harder than flying by the seat of your pants?

*        &        *

If you would like to see the other posts about this book you can peruse through these:

My First NaNoWriMo Word Count

Latest NaNoWriMo Word Count, And A Synopsis

Word Count And Excerpt

Who Knew?

A Second Excerpt from I Killed Them, Mama



12 Responses to “Outlining I Killed Them, Mama”

  1. JC April 8, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Try the “eight point arc” if you are stuck, I know it helped me a lot… It sort of puts your whole plot or outline into perspective. I wrotea post on it if it helps… http://onthegofreelancer.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/my-top-3-tips-on-writing-your-first-book-or-the-nomoblo-hangover/


    • rosedandrea April 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

      Thanks for the comment and the suggestion. You’re post was very interesting, and I will have to go back over the 8 story steps when I have the outline fully fleshed out. Make sure I didn’t miss one. 🙂


  2. Laura Oliva April 8, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Oo, this sounds awesome!

    Prior to my first (completed) book, I was a total pantser. Incidentally, I also never finished any of the projects I started. The enthusiasm was there, but the plot would just fizzle out around page fifty (a hundred, if I was lucky).

    When I finally bit the bullet and threw an outline down, things went much smoother. It still wasn’t easy, and when my book was finished, it still needed a lot of work, but the point is, I FINISHED it. I think you’re on the right path- keep up the good work!


    • rosedandrea April 8, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

      Thanks, Laura! *grins and ducks head*

      Yes, I have been struggling with several projects as you did. Hopefully I will have similar luck with an outline.

      It has only taken me a couple of work sessions to get this outline to the end. Now I have a few more details to slide in at the appropriate times, and double check the timeline on her pregnancy. (The last thing I need is to have it get to publishing and have someone point out that she had an 11 month gestation period. lol)


  3. whiteravensoars April 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    I am a through and through pantser, but I did learn by successfully completing nano three times already that I need a guide. I take the premise of my story and write one to four word “titles” for scene ideas. I usually write them in order, but you can just toss ideas out there and decide how to put them in. By doing this I at least have a roadmap of the “major cities” on my journey to the end. It also gives me the confidence when I don’t know where to go next and still gives me all the freedom of no real outline. After that “first draft” is finished, I consider that my outline, as then I take it and rewrite. Crafting and refining it along the way.


    • rosedandrea April 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      Wow! Three times? That’s pretty cool.
      My mom and I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time this past fall. She hit the word goal in about 20 days, and finished her first draft just a couple days later. Me, not nearly so successful.

      It’s great that you have figured out what works best for you. 🙂

      I thought I was a pantser, too. Looking back at several stalled projects, though, I have to admit that it’s just not my style.

      Hopefully this outlining thing will pan out for me. If a novel doesn’t get finished some time soon people are going to start thinking I’m all talk and no fiction. 😉

      Thanks for commenting!


      • whiteravensoars April 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

        I actually made ML last year! I was super excited about that. I have not truly “finished” a novel, at least, not to where I am ready to try to submit it, but I think I am slowly getting closer.


        • rosedandrea April 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

          As long as there’s still some forward movement on the projects who’s to criticize?
          Plus, when you do get something published you will already have several others on the road to completion. That should make an agent pretty happy.
          Good luck! 😀


  4. laurabennet April 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    I seem to work better diving in with the general synopsis, using a very vague, rough outline. As I go, I jot down the next scenes as I see them unfolding. I’m very detailed about my characters, but not so much about the plot at first. James Scott Bell just wrote a new book about writing from the middle which sounds great, but I haven’t read it yet. I have relied heavily on his book “Plot and Structure.” Hope that helps 🙂


    • rosedandrea April 9, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      Amazon has suggested the write from the middle book to me a couple of times. I’ve been thinking of buying it once we have a little extra cash to plunk down on it.
      At this point I’m willing to give just about anything a try. lol (aside from fish fingers and custard. That just sounds gross. 😉 )


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: