Getting Ready to Go

March 16th, 2010 • Kate

shoes,suitcaseSo, I leave Thursday evening to meet Maureen Johnson in England and then fly on together to Italy for the Bologna Book Fair. Am I ready? Well… I’m getting there. I’ve printed out my schedule of meetings, made extra copies of my rights list, brought a huge bundle of business cards to give out to all and sundry, and most importantly, stocked my Kindle full of things I’m excited to read.

But every time I think I’m getting close to being ready to go, I remember something else I can’t forget to bring, and suddenly, the guest room bed where I’m laying out all my stuff in preparation for packing begins to look like a rummage sale. Can I fit that ALL in one bag? (Well, ok, one checked bag, one laptop bag, and one small carry-on.)

I aspire to be an amazingly light packer with fabulous outfits I can mix and match in interesting ways… but I doubt I’m going to be THAT different a person when I travel than I am at home. Still, I can dream.

At the moment, my dream consists of three pair of shoes. That’s it. It may be a bit of a nightmare, but hey — worst case scenario — I’ll be in Italy when I decide I need something new. Oh noes!

So how do I tie this into writing your book and/or publishing?

Well, how about this? You can pack by writing a list of things to bring and checking them off one by one as you put them in a bag, or you can just throw things willy-nilly into a suitcase and hope for the best. So — do you outline your novel or just let it flow? And if you DO outline, is there room for that extra pair of shoes you just can’t pass up in Italy?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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9 Responses to “Getting Ready to Go”

  1. Deb Salisbury Says:

    ROFL! I plan for *weeks* before I go on a trip, even for just a weekend, and I outline each novel. Obsessively. But, like shoes in Italy (my problem was books; thank goodness for the post office!), I'm flexible if my words don't follow the outline. Update the outline, and charge forward! 😉

  2. Catherine Says:

    Great tie-in! I outline by chapter, which makes it so easy to add things or move around scenes. I didn't fully appreciate the power of outlining until after working with a developmental editor. He suggested I create a new outline BEFORE making the major revisions he suggested. So glad I followed his advice. As I began making changes, I realized that without that outline I wouldn't be able to stay on track.

  3. Ashley Poston Says:

    Oh jeez, that's hard! I get the gist of it (like weather, food, clothing styles–tennis shoes or stylish yellow flats?) and then blindly toss in whatever fits. If something needs to be added later, there's always that boost of room built into the luggage with the expandable zippers…

  4. Bleebonn Says:

    I make a list of things I need to take before I go somewhere. As far as writing, I do a mixture now. Used to be strictly a pantser.

    Have a great time at the Bologna Book Fair.

  5. Another Sara Says:

    I definitely pack from a list, but I always end up buying something once I get there that I hadn't even anticipated needing. It's part of the fun of traveling. And so it also goes with the writing …

  6. Mandy Says:

    I used to just let it flow but now I'm moving more towards outlining. However, my outlines are pretty loose (more of major plot points I need to hit), so I leave plenty of room for things to grow and change.

    I'm all about buying the shoes in Italy. When I went to France I had to buy a new suitcase because I bought so much fabulous stuff.

  7. callie Says:

    I was always a fly by the seat of my pants kind of writer. Until recently. I am on my zillionth revision and trying to keep track of all the changes I want to make. I decided I needed an outline and, lo and behold, it is surprisingly helpful!

    So far I'm really enjoying it. I think it might actually help my word count issues as well, because when the scenes are put on the outline, but not actually written yet, it's a lot easier to see which ones can go.

    Have a fun trip!

  8. Sherri Says:

    Funny, I blogged about this exact thing today. Not packing for a trip to Italy, but whether I'm a plotter or a pantser. I came to the conclusion that I'm definitely not an outliner. I need an idea of the general ending point and maybe several possible points along the way, and then I follow the characters.

    Have fun in Italy.

  9. Becka (Fie Eoin) Says:

    I tend to be a pantser when it comes to writing, because even when I DO make an outline I end up veering way off course and throwing the outline away. But now that I'm trying to edit (multiple books) I've found that I need an outline once the first draft is done, or I end up getting lost in the mire and putting the edits aside for "later". And once you are lost it's hard to make an outline.

    As for packing – I'm an excellent packer although I don't make a list. And I usually end up buying a second small suitcase where ever I go to bring home wine. (I'll pay for the suitcase if you'll buy me some wine in Italy!)