Step 2 of revising?

I wrote a while ago that I thought I’d try a post-draft outline to see how far my story has deviated from my original vague outline and to see if I could fix a couple of big issues (plotlines, subplots, etc.) without becoming distracted by the mounds of crappy prose I’d written.

Hey, it’s a draft.

One of my friends, in a moment of fatigue and foolhardiness, has volunteered to go through the outline and then, perhaps, to skim through the manuscript (though I hope she latches onto something in it and actually reads it…)

I only made it as far as Chapter 17 in the outline. I’m not a detailed outliner anyway, so while the process has been helpful in many ways, it is unremittingly dull, too.

Here’s how this step 2 of revision, outlining, has been helpful:

  • Analyzation. I’ve been able to analyze scenes, characters and plotlines more in a barebones way. Does it add to the story? Is it hokey? Does it make sense? Why are my chapters so long?
  • Distance. Distilling it down to pithy bullet points and paragraphs has detached me from the passages I love and the characters I love. Which is only good when one is preparing to once again, in short order, rip the hell out of it. 
  • Ideas. I’m seeing where the weakness is and as I’m going through writing ideas and reading research again, I’m having ideas as to how to make the weak parts stronger. 
Things I wasn’t too thrilled with:
  • Re-reading the story and trying to make it succinct. Ugh. 
  • Realizing that chapter ten is, in fact, that long. 
  • It’s boring. I’ve already written it. Why am I outlining it?

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