Why I now use an outline: redux

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In the interest of full disclosure (does anyone else love using that phrase?), I’ve written a few posts about outlines over the years. I think I even had one in January. The things is that my opinions have evolved since I began writing.

And I thought I’d revisit the subject.

The short answer to why I now use an outline is: I have a shit memory and not having an outline was affecting my ability to write a cohesive mystery series.

And that was the ‘short’ answer.

The long answer? I have a shit memory and not having an outline was affecting my ability to write a cohesive mystery series.

Just kidding.

Looking back, my fear of outlines comes directly from learning about them in school. I hated the rigidness of them. And also, they never made sense to me. At all.

It randomly struck me last year that an outline could be whatever worked for me.

I began with a cobbled together version of a tree branch mind map. That morphed to include a bastardized version of  the beat sheet. And finally, I began doing a chapter by chapter one sentence breakdown that I updated as I write.

The latter is the most recent addition.

I’ve found it really helpful was I’m writing to jot down a sentence or a thought for what’s going to come in the future chapters. With a mystery, I don’t want to be stumbling for clues as the writer. And I’ve done that a few times in the past.

It’s been a revelation toward making my writing life easier.

How about you? How do you outline your novels?

Quoth the Raven: Part II

A couple years ago, I put a blog post together of writing quotes I enjoy and use for inspiration.

I thought I’d share a few more of my favourite quotes. This time from books I read either as a kid or in my teens.

  •  “. . . . I cannot escape my life but can only use my determination and courage to make it the best I can.”  ― Karen Cushman, Catherine, Called Birdy
  • “There’s some good in this world, Mr Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” – Jane Austen, Persuasion
  • “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  • “As Estha stirred the thick jam he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these: a) Anything can happen to anyone. and b) It is best to be prepared.” —Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

My Top Ten True Crime Playlist

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A year ago or so I put together a true crime playlist. I thought it might be fun to revisit it and see if anything ha s changed.

  1. Cold Justice
  2. Homicide Hunter – I LOVE Kenda. He’s a riot
  3. Murder Tapes
  4. Snapped
  5. Homicide City
  6. See No Evil
  7. People Magazine Investigates
  8. Buried in the Backyard
  9. I am a Killer
  10. The Night Stalker

What about you?

Do you enjoy true crime shows?

Drifting Off to Sleep

I watch a lot of Youtube. I’ve shared a number of posts with favourite channels of all sorts. I thought I’d share a few specific ASMR videos that I use to help me relax in the evenings if I’m particular stressed or dealing with anxiety.

The first is from TingTing, who is one of my favourite ASMR channels. I’m subscribed to her channel. This is one of my fave videos of hers.

WhispersRed is another favourite of mine. Of all her videos, I think this is the one I watch the most.

The third channel I watch frequently is Gentle Whispering ASMR. I love her cooking videos especially. This one from autumn this year is a new favourite. I’ve watched it quite a few times already.

The theatre, the theatre…

what’s happened to the theatre?

Bonus points if you know what movie that quote is from.

In Cosplay Killer, Dannel and Osian love the theatre scene. I thought I’d share some of their favourite places.

  1. Drury Lane (Theatre Royal), the oldest London theatre still in use. Dannel believes there’s an energy to the place that transfers to performances.
  2. The Theatre Cafe, a coffee shop not far from their flat that has live performances.
  3. Apollo Victoria Theatre
  4. The West End, in general, with all of the museums and shops, etc.
  5. The Old Vic

What helps you breathe?

Given the way this year has gone, I’ve struggled to find things to help me relax. In the past few months, I’ve found a section of YouTube that fits the bill. It’s basically a kind of ASMR, I think. Japanese day in the life vloggers.

I don’t know if it’s the beautiful visuals, the calm music, or the content itself. But I find them the perfect way to relieve stress.

Here’s five of my favourites.

Rhea Y. – https://youtu.be/ONejiV8Ekgk

Nami – https://youtu.be/H9TT2m1WIIA

N Rizki – https://youtu.be/QucQXd40xkw

Miku – https://youtu.be/As-kOAizSos

Lou C. – https://youtu.be/Ptr3zPsmx90