Wednesday, October 31, 2012



Today I made an outline for DDS.  I'm pretty proud of myself for it, because I've been grumbling about how it wasn't going to work for a while and now it's looking like it will work.  Turns out I just need to sit down and draw myself a chart.  Who knew? 

The other cool thing about it was that I took care to include all the different strands that I want to include: what's going on with this person, with that person, charting the development in relationships and marking the points of strain. 

 Vonnegut once wrote about an outline he had for Slaughterhouse Five.
"The best outline I ever made, or anyway the prettiest one, was on the back of a roll of wall paper.  I used my daughter's crayons, a different color for each main character.  One end of the wallpaper was the beginning of the story, and the other end was the end, and then there was all that middle part, which was the middle.  And the blue line met the red line and then the yellow line, and the yellow line stopped because the character represented by the yellow line was dead.  And so on.  The destruction of Dresden was represented by a vertical band of orange crosshatching, and all the lines that were still alive passed through it, came out the other side."
I like this passage for a lot of reasons.  I like the imagery.  I like how the characters' stories are lines that meet and part, as if there are many stories being told at once and they still have to fit together somehow.  I like how he made multiple outlines for a story he'd been working on for years and I wonder how much it changed between outlines.  I like the general idea that this outline was unhelpful.

My outline is like this in a few ways, and different in others.  I guess all things that fall under the same label are like that: different and the same.  But the point is that I was reminded of this passage while drawing my crazy diagram.  It had five different horizontal lines, telling each of the stories I wanted to tell, then there were arrows that showed where the events from each of the stories happened in relation to each other.  There was also a post-it attached.  But when I got it all sorted, I ordered it all into bullet points and now that's up on my bulletin board.

Weird thing of the day

 I grew up in Texas and now live in Chicago, and it always really confuses me that people have to wear coats over their Halloween costumes.  Stupid weather!  Stop detracting from people's costumes!  There were a bunch of kids out trick-or-treating and they basically had on winter gear and funny hats.  You'd think think that the costume market would have adjusted itself accordingly and the pikachu and princess outfits would be made of fleece or be long sleeved, or that everyone would dress in a baggy dinosaur costume so they could wear their coat under it.

I also pronounce trick-or-treating as tricker-treating.  Of course I've seen it written before, but I just now realized as I was writing this that tricker-treat is not a thing.  Trick-or-treat is an option between giving a treat or getting a trick. Tricker-treat is giving a treat to people who are tricky (trickers.)