What I mean by that is the plots were linked by theme, not the story goal. So, once I understood that, and forced myself to focus on the original story goal, I was able to fix those parts.

The new and improved outline flows more easily now. My characters are more active, the general unease I had about the story has gone, and I can’t wait to make more progress on this tomorrow.

So, What Is Iterative Outlining?

Iterative outlining is a way of doing developmental editing before you write the actual book. Basically, instead of writing a draft of your book based on an outline—one that could have plot issues—or by writing by the seat of your pants (pantsing) and then having to rip 80,000 words to shreds in edits, you do it upfront. That way, you only have 500-1000 words to deal with.

It sounds easy, but honestly, it’s hard work because to get this to work, you need to make multiple outlines. When I say multiple, I mean it. I just completed the fourth or fifth outline for DU1. But, the hard work is so worth it. With each outline, my story is becoming stronger and more fun to work on. And, I know that when I get to the writing and editing stages, it’s going to be sooooo much easier—and faster.

If you’re interested in iterative outlining, check out H. R. D’Costa for more information. You can find a full listing of her books on her site.

Thanks for reading 😊

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