As part of the Yesterday’s Daughter blog tour, Sallie Lundy-Frommer is dropping by the blog to talk a bit about outlining a story. Is it a necessity? Or is going with the flow the way to go? Read on and let us know what you think.
First, let’s have a look at the book:
Release date: January 24th 2011
Yesterday’s Daughter is an emotionally laden vampire romance novel woven with layers of betrayal, love and loss. Grace Stone, who later learns her true identity is Sapphira, is a loner who survives abuse in the foster care system after being abandoned as a child.
A brilliant student, she escapes from her brutal foster parents as a teenager and creates a life for herself. But, her life is little more than existence; plagued with questions about what she really is, a family that she has never known and the never-ending need to keep her differences hidden. She is alone and lonely, believing it will always remain so until Malachi appears in her life.
Malachi, a Guardian of the vampire communities, has searched for his life mate, Sapphira, for decades. He refuses to cease searching for Sapphira even though she is believed dead by all. Conflict arises over the decades between Malachi and his family because of his refusals to accept another mate. But his very soul drives him on to continue his search, knowing that he could not exist if Sapphira were not in the world, somewhere.
Now I’m giving the blog floor to Sallie.
When I began writing Yesterday’s Daughter, there was no plan or outline. I just wrote. Sure, I’ve written many papers for school, college, and work, so I’m well aware of what it is to draft an outline. As I’m writing this posting, I’m thinking about one of the first writing assignments I had in junior high school. I remember the teacher talking about the requirement that there be a clear beginning, middle, and end. Of course, the simple act of outlining has helped carry me through more an a few writing projects.
And yet when I wrote Yesterday’s Daughter, I didn’t follow this tenet of writing. In that instance, right or wrong; I felt it would be a waste of time and creative energy to spend days or weeks plotting out the story. Hey, the creative juices were flowing and I just wanted to run with it. I pretty much wrote Yesterday’s Daughter, from beginning to end without hesitation or mapping the storyline first. Maybe it was easy for me to write in a near perfect flow of storytelling because I’d had the story in my head for years. So I guess one could make the argument that I’d plotted out the story in my head over the years. Perhaps…
Okay, there were times when I made lists and flow charts for action sequences using easel pads taped to the walls. But this wasn’t done as a preamble to starting to write the book. The notes, drawings, doodles, and lists were scratched out as I processed through the story. They were used as visual cues and to keep the information about characters, locations, events, and descriptions orderly.
Recently, I started writing the sequel to Yesterday’s Daughter. With this endeavor, I began by bulleting a very perfunctory outline of the story. It took about five minutes to make this list. And just like with my first novel, I’m making lists or drawing pictures as I progress further and further into the story. Again, these lists are not made to help map the story. They are visual strings around my finger. I’m still at the mercy of my dreams to direct the events and actions of the characters.
So with all this said, let’s go back to the original premise of this posting: To plot or not to plot, that is the question. There are those who will aggressively come down on one side or the other of the debate. I say, do what works for you, but I’m straddling the divide. A bulleted list or two and a few stick figure diagrams work for me.
What do you think?
Thanks so much, Sallie, for dropping by Xpresso Reads! I always love learning the writing process of an author.
Sallie Lundy-Frommer was born on a farm in the rural South to a family of migrant farm workers. At an early age, her family moved to the urban North-East. She now lives in the suburban North-East with her husband and a large assortment of plants. She holds bachelors and masters degrees in Human Resource Management and currently works in the health care industry.
Next stop on the Yesterday’s Daughter blog tour:January 18th: Lisa’s World Of Books