Journal logo

3 Things I Felt After Finishing My First Book Outline

by Terri Allen 12 months ago in literature
Report Story

Relief, Anguish and Fatigue

Yesterday I finished my first ever book outline just in time to partake in NaNoWriMo 2021 for the first time. This is a book that originally made me want to become a writer and I’ve been sitting on it for about two or three years but I never sat down and made a proper outline.

I wrote a few chapters of it before I decided that I would make a proper outline so that I can get a better first draft then I would have ended up with originally. At this point I remembered that NaNoWriMo exists and that I should take part!

This would help me to reach the goal that I set myself last year that I was going to complete my first ever book (and by that I mean a first draft of a book). My original outline was rather rubbish so I mostly scrapped it. I think out of 124 pages I kept the information from about 12 pages.

I still have a lot more stuff to do for this outline just so that I have visual representations for when I need to add more detail in my draft. I know this story is going to be more than the NaNoWriMo target of 50,000 words but I want to challenge myself to do it.

Relief

When I finally wrote “the end” on the last page of my outline I felt an unbelievable sense of utter relief! It’s a huge accomplishment to finally decide what I want my entire plot to be and have a very basic outline of each chapter in my story. I finally know the start, middle, end and how to get from one point to the other completely. I sat back on my couch for a solid five minutes in shock that I was finally done. Seventeen hours spread over three days is a long time to keep your brain focused on one thing but I did it and now I’m burnt out.

Anguish

Next came a huge sense of dread as I came to the realisation that my story was fully plotted out and I’ll never get the chance to learn about my story and my characters again because I already know everything about them. I will never not be shocked by the way my imagination can create something out of nothing and I will forever feel saddened by the fact that I will never be able to create my existing characters from scratch again. My plot for this story is wild and I am so unbelievably proud of myself for coming up with this story.

The whole idea for this story came from me sitting on a train on my commute to work and I was listening to a brand new song that I found on my Spotify Discover playlist. I was listening to the song and all of a sudden a scene flashed in my head and I knew that this is the song that would be playing over this scene in a movie. I will never get to have that experience with this book ever again because the outline is finished and I’ve learnt everything about this book that I will ever need to.

Fatigue

I am so tired, so burnt-out from this whole experience. As soon as I was done and the initial excitement left my body I realised it was close to 1am and I had been writing handwritten notes across the span of three days. I felt pure exhaustion and after I uploaded a quick update to all of my social media platforms to let everyone know that I completed this gargantuan task I lay on my couch and fought off sleep. Using the creative part of my brain for so long on the one topic was difficult but I pushed through and completed it.

I wouldn’t recommend doing the amount of work I did in that short of a period of time unless that’s your usual process but for me I was doing it out of pure spite and excitement. I have never been happier and I am so excited to take part in my first NaNoWriMo, wish me luck. Here’s to 50,000 words in 30 days!

literature

About the author

Terri Allen

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.