Today is my stop on the blog tour for Gustavo Florentin's novel
The Schwarzschild Radius.
Please enjoy the Guest Post he has graciously provided and enter the
giveaway to win a copy of the book!
By: Gustavo Florentin
About the Book:
Rachel, an 18-year-old Columbia University student descends into the netherworld of runaways and predators to find her sister, Olivia, who has suddenly disappeared. After getting a job in a strip joint where Olivia worked, then doing private shows in the homes of rich clients, Rachel discovers that Olivia has been abducted by a killer who auctions the deaths of young girls in an eBay of agony. As she closes in on the killer who has taken Olivia, Rachel becomes his next target.
Buy it Now:
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To Outline or Not to Outline
I attend writer’s conferences and this is one of the most common questions put to best-selling authors—and the answers may surprise you. I am an electrical engineer by training. It would never occur to me to build a circuit or a device without a circuit diagram and blue prints. So when I started writing my first novel, it was natural for me to outline. The outline is the architectural plan of the book. When completed, it reveals flaws, holes in the plot, and allows correction at an early stage of the writing process before hundreds of pages and hours have been committed.
When asked this question, some writers say they use a five-page outline, others develop a 150-page proto-book detailing every scene. But some will tell you that they don’t outline at all. That they want to be as surprised as the audience when they get to a plot twist. They would be bored writing off of a template where they already know what is going to happen next. God bless them, but I don’t advise it. Also, I can tell when an author is pretty much winging it. Coincidence crops up, implausibility abounds—all hallmarks of a writer who has not given long and careful thought to his story.
Surprising yourself does not imply surprising the reader any more than crying while singing a love song elicits emotion in the listener. Surprise in drama is very deliberate and premeditative and rarely the result of spontaneity. So unless you are a literary Mozart and can improvise brilliantly, I would suggest using an outline. Start with the pitch, the essence of the story, then write a one-page synopsis. Then an outline which may simply consist of a list of scenes without development. Keep in mind that for today’s thrillers, the chapters are much shorter than they were when The Godfather was written. Now you need six to ten-page chapters and the outline can assist greatly in establishing that rhythm. You can see how evenly distributed your plot twists and cliff hangers are and make adjustments so that all the tension is not concentrated in one section of the book while the rest of the manuscript is a snooze.
Did Michelangelo paint the Sistine Ceiling without drawings? Did Da Vinci paint the Madonna without sketching Her first? If an outline was good enough for those guys, it’s good enough for you.
About the Author
Gustavo Florentin was born in Queens, New York and received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York. He spent a decade in the defense industry working on the F-14 fighter jet and classified electronics projects. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many thought America wouldn't need weapons anymore, so while others waited for the peace dividend, he moved on to the financial sector in New York where he is currently a network engineer. His passions include violin, travel to exotic places and exploring worldwide conspiracies. He lives in New Jersey where he is working on his third novel. His thriller, In the Talons of the Condor, won the following awards:
WUACADEMIA--Prix d'Or Best Novel
The Verb First Chapter Contest--First Prize
Mount Arrowsmith Best Novel 4th place
The Writing Show--Second Prize best first chapter of a novel.
Second Prize--16th Annual International Latino Book Awards