Having a hard time advancing with my book – How to come up with the right outline?
Four years ago I decided to write a biography of the Red woman, whose name I’d rather keep secret for the moment. About 18 months after a long period of research, I started to write.
Once I knew what my book was going to be about (see Red Writing I) I had to find the right structure for the book. It proved to be just as difficult as knowing what I was writing about. I’m on my fourth draft and I’m still not entirely sure if the outline I have fits my idea.
At the beginning I did not want to write this biography in a chronological order. I wanted to make it different. But after three different drafts, the book was still not holding together. My heroine had travelled a lot, moved to a new apartment every two years and lived in different countries. So a non-chronological book would be confusing for a reader who is not already familiar with her life. I have finally opted for a chronological order of events. Trying different outlines helped to nourish the book and also helped me to understand better why I was writing it. For a project that has taken 4 tears this may not be much progress, but it is progress nonetheless, which brings me closer to completing my book.