M. S. Harris : Chapters, Ava’s story, Outlines, Packing.

Hello, hello people!

It has been a week after Camp Nanowrimo and life just continues on. There is packing to be done, as we are in the middle of a move and right now, even most of my books are in boxes.

*strokes boxes*

My poor babies.

I only left the “Immortals After Dark” series by Kresley Cole out, as it is what I’m currently reading. I also may or may not have bought 3 or 4 books on the series from the book depository. I cannot confirm nor deny it.


Packing things in the middle of a Greek summer is not a fun affair. It’s hot, it’s sweaty, it’s uncomfortable. Books are heavier than they appear when you pack them and we have a lot of those. Between my books and my mother’s, we are starting to wonder if we are going to have enough space in the new house for all of them.

I hope we will. I’m not willing to part with any of my babies. That’s all I’m going to say. If they want to throw out anything, they can throw out unimportant things. Like sheets and towels. Who needs those? We could use the shelves for books. That’s a lot better.

Surprisingly, I’ve also been productive. I broke down my novel “Descent” into chapters finally and as it is right now, it has 37. They might go up to 40 because I like round numbers, or 35. That 37 bugs me too much. But I do believe it is a good number of chapters. My second draft had to do a lot with fleshing out the plot and fixing it and now I have to go through it again eventually, to flesh out the descriptions and tighten it up as much as possible. But first, I gotta let it rest. The story is still too fresh in my head and even though I can take notes, it’s not wise to go poking at it, when I can’t look at it objectively.

So, in the meantime, I have Ava.

Ava was one of the three short stories I did last Nanowrimo, in November. She was the last of them and so she was left without an ending. Or so I thought. As it stands right now, Ava has a family and she has accomplished everything she wished for when the story started. It is a happy ending and as a friend of mine pointed out, I don’t do those.

I do. I try. I swear.

I could leave Ava as she is and the story would be complete. It would need no more and the reader would be satisfied. But I can throw a little more drama her way. I can make her life just a little bit harder before she gets her happy ending. I don’t know though. I’m waiting on Thorn to read it so I can get her opinion on this matter. She is, after all, my trusty Alpha reader. She sees my stories at their rawest form and she never complains. Somehow, she even likes them. She deserves a cookie for that.

*Gives Thorn a cookie*

And now that I mentioned Thorn, we had an interesting conversation about Outlines. I believe that Outlines are not set in stone. Especially the Outline of a First Draft. First Drafts are when the writer tells the story to himself/herself. There is no way you can know a story before it is done. Maybe you know the important points A, B, C, and you can assume based on your cast of wonderful troublemakers (AKA Characters) how they are going to go from A to B to C.

But they do like to look at that Outline and then ignore it completely, don’t they?

I believe that is all right. It is perfectly okay to change how your troublemakers go from point A to point B as long as the important things in the story stay the same. Your troublemakers still end up with the same results, but through a different path.

And it’s okay.

The outline is more of a suggestion if anything and troublemakers like to ignore suggestions most of the time.

What are your thoughts? Do you outline? Do you not? Do your characters give you trouble?

~ Harris


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