A few times I’ve said here that I’ve got to stop diving in head first into writing a story as soon as the idea pops into my head. I always run out of steam when I do this, always. Outside of short stories, I can’t wing-it. That’s what I’ve done with Penal Earth, and the same thing that happens all the time happened. I ran out of steam, I got stuck and I couldn’t write my way out of it.
Now, I’m working on a zombie story that I’ve been playing with for some time now. It’s not one that I have tried to write yet, simply because I couldn’t find a feel for it. The other day I got a snippet of an idea for it and since then I’ve been making notes and trying to figure out a timeline. I’m not sure I’m going to do a chapter by chapter outline for it. I did this with The Space Watch, and it was one of the most crushing experiences I’ve had as a writer. I had no intention of doing that again, but I’m not going to close that door just yet, it may be a case that with The Space Watch I found it hard because its a story that’s been written a few times and I was kind of done with it at that time. It felt very much like a chore, and it wasn’t until I’d began to write it and I deviated from the outline that I really got stuck into it.
I’ve got a pretty good idea of how the story starts, but I’m also thinking about putting together strong characters. I’ve already got a few bits and pieces of the people who seem to be building up to be the main characters from the outlining that I’ve been doing, but I need to sit down and get some work done on those individuals and those around them. I’ve also had some good ideas about the state of the world as a whole.
This zombie piece is just one of a few projects I’m working on outlines for. Owen and I have a lot we are looking at doing in the next couple of years, and I’ve got solo projects that I’m quite excited about but I’ve got to get this outlining lark, down. If I don’t then I’m just going to keep running out of steam and repeating the same mistakes time and time again.