As it stands, The Edge of Death is now at fifty thousand words and remains unchanged since the end of November in 2018 — meaning the project is now already a year old. The Edge of Death began as a joke, a quip between friends. As the idea grew, the story evolved and changed and became more than any story I had started writing previously.
The joke began as my friend said to me that if the reaper ever came for me I would brush him off saying, “Not now. I have too much to finish reading,” and then the reaper would go away but would continue to come back over and over again trying to reap me. From that, we coined the story Death and the Reader. And as writing continued and the heart of the story changed, Death and the Reader became Death Defying, and now at fifty thousand words, I have settled on The Edge of Death.
I. Don’t. Do. Outlines.
Never before had the story come together so quickly as I wrote down notes and snippets of dialogue. And for the first time, I wrote an outline. I mean who writes an outline? Okay, there are those types of writers out there who plan out everything and write out of order, but that isn’t me. I’m the type to sit down and start writing with an idea that has yet to fully form its first image and I continue until there are no more words and the story is beyond redeemable. I. Don’t. Do. Outlines.
But for The Edge of Death, I did. I could blame NaNoWriMo, but the projects in the years before never received the same amount of attention. I took all of October to flesh out the story, write the outline by hand, type it up, fix some issues, and by the start of November, I had almost eighteen thousand words of an outline. After that, all I had to do was write and follow the cues, which I set up to be endlessly easy. My outlines tend to go like this:
Part 1: Synopsis of what will happen throughout part one, which consists of Chapters 1-9.
Beginning: Synopsis of what will happen throughout the entire beginning of part one, consisting of Chapters 1-3.
Chapter One: Synopsis
- Scene 1 Synopsis
- Scene 2 Synopsis
- Scene 3 Synopsis
- Scene 4 Synopsis
- Scene 5 Synopsis
- Scene 6 Synopsis
- Scene 7 Synopsis
and then that layout continues through part one with a middle and end, and then on through parts two and three.
I won NaNo that year, and it went off smoothly. I even managed to stay ahead most of the month, but after that, as always, I stopped writing.
But for 2020 I not only want to finish writing the first draft, I also want to rewrite a few times and query the book out to agents before the end of the year. Now, the end of 2020 may seem far off to you, but in writing time it’s already today, it’s already tomorrow, and it is now 2021.
We are just over a week and a half from March. MARCH, PEOPLE!
I haven’t written much this year, and there are a ton of reasons and obstacles, but I’m already feeling the pressure to get the words flying again.
I’ll keep you updated. If you have any questions about this project, feel free to ask!