Shadow Stalker: Destiny Reconciled Part 1 (Episode 5) Excerpt
By Renee Scattergood
“What do you mean you wrapped yourself in the veil?” he asked.
“I don’t know how else to explain it. I saw what was happening in the shadow world, but at the same time I wasn’t there. My spirit wasn’t there.”
His pain was replaced by fear. Whether it was fear of me or fear for me, I couldn’t tell.
“What does it mean?”
Kado moved toward me, pushing me to the ground. “Close your eyes and relax. Do not resist me and do not hide yourself by wrapping yourself in the veil.”
I closed my eyes and at first there was nothing. Then a tingling sensation started in my solar plexus. He was re-establishing the connection. My relief overwhelmed me when I sensed him again, but it was short-lived. I couldn’t move. It was as though my body had been covered in a lead blanket.
“Breaking the connection was the most dangerous thing you could have done, Auren. Contrary to what you believe, it’s not a way for me to spy on you. How else will I know what you need during your training? How will I sense if you are in trouble? This bond tells me how I can find you, so I can help you. Without it, and without your training, you are completely helpless.”
My Story Planning and Outlining Methods
I’ve recently read the book 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron not long back, and she had some great ideas for planning and outlining a novel in such a way that writing the first draft is practically effortless. I’ve since adopted her methods, tweaking them to suit my personal writing style, and it has been working fabulously. In a matter of a week, I went from struggling just to write 2k words in a 3 to 4 hour time period to writing 5k+ easily in the same amount of time.
This is how I do it. First I plan the whole story from beginning to end, writing out every scene that will make up the story (and they aren’t always in order at this point). From there I can determine, generally speaking, how long the story might be, work out subplots and where they might fit in, and decide which scenes I want to keep or get rid of. In other words, I test them against the plot and if they don’t drive the plot, I usually get rid of them.
Once all the scenes are worked out I make a timeline. Now I can make sure all the scenes are where they should be within the story. After I finish that and re-order the scenes if I need to, I separate the scenes into chapters. I can have anywhere from 1 to 5 scenes in a chapter depending on how long the scene will be. Then I write the outline based on the scenes.
When I write the outline, it’s very detailed. I explain all the actions, thoughts, dialogue and whatever else I can think of that will take place in chronological order. I don’t worry about grammar or making the writing sound good at this point. It’s just about writing down exactly how each scene/chapter will play out.
With the detailed outline finished, I’m ready to write, and writing goes quickly because I don’t have to think about what I’m writing. I just refer back to the outline so I know what happens next. Haven’t had an issue with writer’s block since I started writing this way and my writing speed has improved greatly. Not only that, but I’ve had less issues with plot holes cause I work all that out in the planning process, so it helps with editing before you even start writing.
Renee Scattergood, author of the fantasy series, Shadow Stalker, and novella, Demon Hunt, lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Find out more about her, and sign up for her newsletter on her blog for a free copy of her latest episode of Shadow Stalker: http://reneescattergood.com