The Outline

I wonder why nobody ever posts their story outlines in writer’s discussion boards.

I’ve seen opening chapters, and mid-chapters, but like, are people afraid they’ll steal your one good idea and write their own book? Is that it? Or maybe, if you post the outline, the 6 people who bothered to read it all the way through won’t buy your book when it’s published?

I just wonder about that.

There’s a new story I’m writing. The last novel I wrote is on hold, as far as the rewrite. I haven’t really fallen out of love with the story, but the thought of scrapping 56,000 words and starting all over kind of smarts. Hell, I haven’t even READ my first book all the way through. I think I got to the third or fourth chapter, and got so sidetracked in fixing the writing that I just couldn’t bear to go on. (bare? bear?)

(see what I mean?)

Oh, it’s a great story, just, not the way I told it.

But on to my new story. I really like it. Hell, half the story is real, based on a fascinating documentary I found about Vivian Maier. She’s an old lady, (I imagine she had 45 cats), who was a hoarder. She died, or ran out of money, and her storage facility was auctioned off. Turns out it was full of nothing but photographs. 150,000 photos and like 400 rolls of film. But here’s the kicker – she’s now being hailed as one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. She had a great eye for human interaction – capturing people who were in fights, or uncomfortable around each other, or unhappy. These aren’t posed photos, these are people too busy to notice a creepy old Mary Poppins with a camera.

That in and of itself is a great story. But I came up with some twists, some more interesting things to sprinkle on top of it – or around it, really – and I’m writing that story this month for Camp Nanowrimo. I’ve got to write 50,000 words, and so far I’m up to maybe 5,000. But it’s good, and I know I’ll hit my target because I just will.

Here’s a link to that documentary. It’s really worth a watch.