Finally! Katie’s taking the plunge!


Have I got news for you!

Katie Weiland, aka K.M. Weiland, aka Tarin, is finally going to send Behold the Dawn on the road to publication!

I interviewed Katie last September, and she gave some insight to her research techniques for Behold the Dawn. But it was off the record that I asked her when she was going to publish that masterpiece.  She wasn’t in a hurry. God has a plan, she said. She’d wait on Him.

I am completely in awe of this young lady who’s half my age. She has amazing discipline, patience, tenacity. And she’s been writing seriously for longer than I have, and has some great work to show for it. (Check out her free e-stories.)

And she has a great blog. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should. Wordplay is Katie’s classroom where she teaches everything you want to know about fiction writing. Today’s lesson is: “The Benefits of Outlining.” 

Katie and I are complete opposites when it comes to writing. She outlines. I write. In my post, “Whatever Works”, I describe my writing process. Seat-of-the-pants. I have thoughts and ideas scribbled on scattered pieces of paper, and I just write.

In the length of time it takes Katie to do her meticulous outline, I have a book. While she’s writing her first draft, I’m editing.

Which way is best? Although I seem incapable of doing things her way, I think her way is best. Katie’s characters don’t pull surprises on her by page 130 that require her to go back and change everything. Her plot holes are covered before she starts writing, and she doesn’t need to spend time pitching tar over them seventy pages into the novel. In fact, she’s one of the few who knows I’ve had to rework The Cat Lady of Forest Lawn almost from the beginning because one of my characters got away from me. (Guess the secret’s out now, huh?)

I see similarities in what Katie and I do. It’s just that, instead of battling out an outline, I battle out the story.

In Katie’s post, she discusses her extended plot outline: “In places, this plotting goes pretty quickly; in other places, I have to stop to work my way through iffy plot points and implausible character motivations. This step, by itself, can take several months . . . ”

It’s the same for me, but by the time I’ve completed the battle, I’ve written the narrative and dialogue, too. So when I have “writer’s block,” it’s just like working out plot points and motivations.

I like the way I write. I like spending the day working in my head, then transforming those thoughts into scenes and chapters. I like letting my characters dictate what’s next, what their motivations are, what their reactions to other characters are. At least to a certain extent.

What I don’t like is having to delete page after page, because something that should’ve worked didn’t, and I would’ve found that out had I done an outline.

Comparing my novels to Katie’s would be like comparing the butterfly with the eagle. The only similarity is that they can both fly. I’m a newbie to writing, and I write fluff. I stick my little nose in this flower and that one, give my readers a laugh and a feel-good ending. Eventually I want to move to more challenging plotlines, but for now I’m comfortable.

Katie’s work soars. Her settings, characters, and plots are deep and intricate and vivid. That doesn’t come from outlining alone. That comes from study and work and practice. That’s why I have hope for my own work. I’m willing to do those three things.

But I hate outlining.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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3 Responses to Finally! Katie’s taking the plunge!

  1. K.M. Weiland says:

    Aw, gee. I don’t know what to say. That’s the nicest thing I’ve woken up to in a long time… 😀


  2. Lorna says:

    I outline in my head, but not on paper. Not enough patience for that.

    A Man Called Outlaw was incredible. Can’t wait to read Behold.


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