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I just read a three-part interview with Diana Gabaldon done by Kathleen Bolton on the blog Writer Unboxed.   I let out a big sigh after reading it, for a couple of reasons. 

First reason is she mentioned in the interview that there will be another book after AN ECHO IN THE BONE. I am currently reading A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana which is her second to last book in the Outlander series.  I am dragging it out because I don’t want to stop reading about Jamie and Claire.    I am still iffy on reading about Lord John Grey.  I have Claire’s back on this one and feel like I would betray her by reading it. 🙂  Her books do that to you.  Totally suck you in and make you feel like you know her characters personally.  Well I might as well call Claire a close friend.  God knows I have spent enough time reading about her and cheering her on like any great friend would do.

The second thing about the interview was that she admitted to not using an outline.  Diana lets the characters take her along the plot, while she overall has an idea of how she wants the story to look.  She compares the storyline to a DNA molecule with parts connected.  I love that she does that.  I started with an idea and storyline and did an outline before I started.  I hated every second of it.  I felt like I was back in Jr. High in my early English classes trying to figure out my first outline.   The more I “organized” with the outline, the more disorganized I felt.  How much was too much?  Did I have enought?

As I started writing, I realized that the story needed something different than what my outline told me-a different route to get to part of my plot.  So I switched things up and cut out a bunch of manuscript.   I didn’t trash it however.  I saved it in a “bits and pieces” area on my computer to use again if need be.  I know I will never use it but it is like throwing away bad photos.  They are still evidence of someone or something’s existence, no matter how out of focus the picture is.

So now I have basically been writing by the seat of my pants.  I still have the beginning, middle, and end of my story in my head but I am not so rigid about how to get there.  It is refreshing and helpful to know that an author like Diana Gabaldon doesn’t have a very conventional way of writing as well.  By no means do I compare myself to her.  It is just that I started to wonder about what the hell I was doing and if this story would make sense without the skeleton of an outline.  Well, if Diana Gabaldon can do it, then so can I.  Therefore, I will continue to write willy-nilly between trips to the gym, fixing lunch for my son, picking up kids from school, etc.  Heck, that is what revision is for, right?

Check out my link to Writer Unboxed and you will find Diana Gabaldon’s name on the list of author interviews.  It is an interesting read for all of you Diana fans.

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