The task today was to work on the novel synopsis and outline. I got a short synopsis written and then, making use of Mike Resnick’s book I’ve Got a Nifty Idea… (recommended to me by mabfan), I began work on the detailed outline. I got through the first five chapters, and the outline now stands at about 1,500 words–that’s 300 words/chapter. At this rate, knowing there are about 30 chapters or so, the outline of the novel will be 9,000 words. That’s 1,000 words more than the total application package can be, including the first three chapters I’m submitting. I’ve been using Rob Sawyer’s novel outlines for Starplex and The Terminal Experiment as models (both are included in the Resnick book) and I think I’m doing the outlining right, but there’s no way I can submit an outline this detailed for the workshop. It makes me think I should consider submitting a short story, but there’s two problems with that: (1) I’m not sure I have one that I can use and (2) I really want to use the workshop (should I be accepted) to workshop the novel, since I have no experience with novels.
The first three novel chapters I’m submitting total about 7,300 words, which leaves about 700 words for synopsis and outline. The best I can probably do is to write an abridged outline of say, 2 terse sentences per chapter. I can submit that plus summary and chapters as my application package and have the complete, detailed outline in my back pocket in case I’m asked for it.
That means the task tomorrow will be to condense the first 22 chapters into 44 sentences. If I can get that done, I think I’ll be in good shape. Then I need to add an additional 22 sentences for the last 11 chapters which I have not yet outlined. I’ll save that for Wednesday.
Working time: about 1.5 hours.
Words: about 1,500 (outline)