I put a lot of work into maintaining my little website. I spruce things up here and there. I tweak copy. I add fun lore about Arth. Still, people are most interested in the colorful bars that show how far along the next book is. If you’re one of those progress-trackers, you may like this video; it goes into a bit more depth about why this outline is taking so long, and why I think the new process will ultimately help me deliver Dragonfired faster.
Warning: The video contains minor spoilers for things that may or may not actually happen at the beginning of Dragonfired. (I’m not being coy. The story will change in the drafting and revision process.) If you hate (minor) spoilers, don’t read the outline.
If you follow my posts on writing, you likely know that I love Scrivener, and that I love outlining stories in it. Tracking where the plot is going keeps me on track and feeling good about the work. But despite putting a lot of effort into the outlines of Orconomics and Son of a Liche, I’ve always run into slowdowns when I’m confronting ambiguous plot lines.
The answer? More outlining.
This time, I’m using Scrivener’s custom metadata fields to keep track of timelines and character locations as I plan. I’m tagging characters and their story arcs with keywords to help me quickly filter down relevant scenes when working on individual story lines. And I’m adding more detail than ever to my notes, to help the writing process flow smoother.
I’m hoping these changes keep my velocity up and my mind focused as I roll into the first draft. My fingers are firmly crossed.
Do you outline your writing? What works for you?
5 thoughts on “How I’m Outlining Dragonfired”
Hey Zack, really interesting to see how you plot things out.
Thanks, Stu! Glad you enjoyed it.
It’s awesome that you posted this. I’m developing a story of my own, and the other day I actually said “I wonder how J. Zachary Pike outlines his stories” (no joke) and here it is! Thank you!
And now you know! Huzzah!
Reall enjoyed watching this, would love to see more things like this in the future.
As a data analyst all that meta data is quite satisfying haha.