As I told Mr. DeLaClowncar the other day, writing an outline for JALL is harder than writing the damn novel. He commiserated. He's just finished writing his own outline. It is a thing of beauty, let me tell you. So's the book, by the way.
Anyhow, I decided to ask Poppy Z. Brite for some pointers, and, being a scholar and a gentleman, Doc Brite gave me a good suggestion:
"These things are a bitch to write, but they do get easier with practice. One helpful trick I've found (assuming you've already completed the novel, or at least a big chunk of it) is to start at the end and work your way backward. Don't write the actual outline this way, of course, but thinking of it in this fashion can help you keep events in order, realize which characters need to be introduced and which can be left out of the outline for the sake of brevity (a Lost Souls outline I once wrote never mentioned Christian -- he's important to the heart of the novel, not so important to its linear structure), etc."
Poppy also sent me the first outline for Prime, which really helps, since I can compare it to the final book.
So...wish me luck (again). If I win this contest, it will send me lightyears into my writing career.
And wish Mr. Clowncar luck, too. He's going for Breadloaf.
And, a belated good luck to Julie. Hang in there!