Creative Writing 101,  Facts of Life,  Happy Dance,  Mechanics,  Work-In-Progress,  Writing Journey

Writer Life: Outlining & Worldbuilding

There are words on the page!! My official story notes are organized, and I has words on the page!! 😀

I finished the Neil Gaiman Masterclass, and the last few lessons really bolstered my spirit. ^_^ I decided to start tackling my notes, took me three days, and in the process, I started a document and got words on the page!

Basically, it’s either going to be good or it isn’t. That’s all I have to worry about. Or rather, not worry about. It fits my current philosophy on life about not making things too difficult. Instead of giving myself seven options, I give myself two. I can give myself two more from there if I need to, but it keeps things from getting out of control. I either want to write this story or I don’t. I do. So, no need to worry about it as there are only two ways it can turn out: great or mediocre. 🙂

I know.

I’ve since started Natalie Portman’s acting class, because you never know what can help with your writing, and I’m actually finding it incredibly helpful. I feel like acting and building characters are similar skillsets. ^_^

Anyway, for a good couple of weeks, I was overwhelmed by all the notes I was taking, but at the same time, I felt more prepared. I feel like I have a lot less plot holes going into drafting land than I normally do. I don’t know every single little thing, but all the bases are definitely covered, plus stuff I never even think about. I have three maps, four if I count my terrible rendition of part of Europe that I want handy just in case I forget where Paris is and what countries flank France, and I was wrong until I looked it up. I basically had everything upside down. Haha.

But yeah, I just don’t feel like I’m fumbling. I have way more information than I need, and I’ve never been in this position before. Usually, I’m good with setting for the most part, because it’s modern day, more or less, set on earth with a supernatural underground. Normal stuff. 😛

However, I have some futuristic fantasies, and I really needed stronger worldbuilding skills to tackle them with confidence, and I have them now, and it wasn’t even that hard! Obviously, I needed someone to tell me what to do and what questions to ask and what not, but still. It’s amazing.

Also, yes, the story – still called “Tower” – is set in France. It probably didn’t have to be, but the idea tumbled out of my head that way, so why am I going to argue?

For a while now, I haven’t been outlining. I basically have some kind of flow chart of events: beginning, however many points in the middle I want to jot down, the ending, and then I “listen to my writer’s gut” from there. It’s been working out pretty well for me. I can start an outline at anytime – or what I call an outline, which is basically me making notes to myself about upcoming scenes in the same document I’m writing in. Haha. You’d think my organizer self wouldn’t like this, but I like it a lot. And I delete it when I’m done, and I don’t even care. I know some people like to keep up with their outline. We do what works for us.

So, I wanted to share! Because I’m excited. And all that notetaking was worth it. And the worldbuilding stuff was literally priceless. I feel like I can write high fantasy now! I feel like I can write historical fantasy now!

And it’s not just the world that feels stronger. Characterization feels stronger. The plot feels stronger. Sublplots are stronger! I don’t know what to do with my excitement, except use it as fuel. 😀

On a random note, I was sick all last week, and it’s just really, really nice not to be sick anymore. ^_^

Also, I saw Hamilton the musical last night. It’s fun. 🙂

10 Comments

  • Tonja Drecker

    Excitement is the best fuel! So glad to hear that those classes have kindled your flame, and I bet they helped. Learning and gathering information is never bad, is it? Happy writing!

    • Krystal Jane

      Happy Editing for you! ^_^

      I feel like Neil Gaiman handed me a writer’s toolbox with everything in it, and it’s so crazy to have everything I need after working with just a hammer and basic screwdriver all these years.

    • Krystal Jane

      I know right! It should carry me through a few rounds of editing at least. ^_^

      Hamilton is definitely different, very modern, but I liked it and thought it was fun. I really liked the portrayal of Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson. They made Jefferson look like a right jerk, which I can’t help but feel like was pretty accurate. There are a couple of songs I’m definitely going to pick up.

  • Kristy A.

    I started MasterClass over the weekend! It’s so good to hear that it was helpful for you. I’m finding it really helpful so far, five lessons in, and I can really use some spirit bolstering as well. I can’t wait to hear more about what you’re working on!

  • Thea Landen

    Words on the page is always, always, ALWAYS a win! I compare it to going to the gym – just by getting it done, you’re already light years ahead of the people who don’t even try.

    I am also jealous of seeing Hamilton. I still have yet to accomplish that.

    Hope you’re feeling better!

    • Krystal Jane

      Winning! ^_^

      Whatever I had is still hanging on for dear life, but I’m definitely a whole better.

      Definitely see Hamilton if you get the chance! It’s been in Nashville for the last two weeks. We were kind of lucky to get tickets. The whole ticket buying experience was an actual circus.

  • Jodi Leigh

    A post in which you’re NOT worrying about things? Who is this imposter and what have you done with the Krystal I know?

    Seriously though, I’m so happy to hear how awesome things are going for you in the writing world! Very cool too that the acting class is teaching skills that are transferrable to writing. Is this an online class? I wouldn’t mind doing something like that over summer.

    Have you ever seen Will Smith’s short speech called “What Skydiving Taught Me about Fear”? If not, I highly recommend it (it’s only 3 minutes). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFIB05LGtMs Even though skydiving is a way dramatic example, I love the way he reframes fear–the fact that we spend so much time feeling anxious and losing sleep over things, yet in the moment we’re actually doing the thing we’re afraid of, our fear goes away. Which begs the question, why do we waste so many precious moments of our lives worrying in the first place? I’m trying to remind myself of this every time I get stressed about things. It’s a process though–my default personality is to worry.

    • Krystal Jane

      Right?! 😛

      Yeah, Masterclass is all online. They have workbooks you can download and videos to watch. There all kinds on things on there. I’m thinking of taking a chess class and a cooking class while I have it. Lol!

      I saw his skydiving video but I hadn’t seen him talking about it. I feel like I spend so much time worrying about my projects, and it’s so true that it really doesn’t benefit anything. Ever.

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