...And all of the blogs I was following are gone!
I go scouring; they're totally gone. I go to the help page, leave my problem, come back and on a whim, take a peek at my profile. Guess what I find there--all of the blogs I'm following. Shaking my head, I go to the Manage button and click on it--there's all the blogs I'm following. They're just not showing on my dashboard. Very very bizarre. So, I copied URLs on a .doc file and if they really go belly up, I can find them again. But, it's irritating to say the least.
In the meantime, I want to say how much I worship at the feet of author J. A. Konrath. I've been reading his book, The Newbie's Guide to Publishing (Everything a Writer Needs to Know), which is based on his blog of the same name--one of the missing from my list on the dashboard but showing up in the Manage page and I'm digressing. Konrath is a well known author of some best selling books with the big trad houses, but he's also having huge success self-publishing. I worship him.
So, I'm reading his book and come across a chapter about outlining. I used to be voracious about the concept and lately, I'm just having all kinds of trouble with a couple of works in progress, trying to write the damn things and they're being increasingly stubborn about letting me outline them. So, I read this chapter and he makes note about good story telling and conflict, but he breaks it down into something even more simple...the conflict of having a goal and not being able to achieve it. He gives examples of a couple of chapters and the light dawns on this marble head. Of course. But can it be that easy?
Yes, boys and girls, it can be just that easy. I started hitting the notepads with the remaining chapters on one and the entire book on the other and all of a sudden...oh look, I'm making an outline. You're kidding, right? Nope:
--Character's goal for the chapter
+Conflict 1 that keeps him from it
+Conflict 2 that keeps him from it
+Conflict 3 that keeps him from it
Don't look, Jess, you're outlining.
Peace out, kids!