Your 3-Step Plan for Creating A Novel Outline

Your 3-Step Plan for Outlining a Novel

Today, I’m guest posting over on Writers Helping Writers, with the post “Your 3-Step Plan for Outlining a Novel.” Here’s an excerpt: There’s only one reason writers ever talk about outlining. It’s a tool that’s supposed to make our jobs easier. But it isn’t always clear how to accomplish that. Do you just start writing a list […]

5 Ways to Write A Near-Perfect First Draft

5 Ways to Write a Perfect First Draft (or Nearly)

“The first draft.” Is there any phrase more likely to evoke such a poignant mix of anticipation and dread? Anticipation, of course, because we get to write—we get to tell our story! And dread, of course, because we’re about to subject ourselves to months, even years, of agony and frustration as we blindly slog toward a finish […]

How to Use the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software

How to Use the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software

Today, I’m pleased to get to share with you a special guest post from Bob Miller, the developer of our new Outlining Your Novel Workbook software. I’ve asked him to give you a tour of the program, his own process for using it, and what inspired him to create it in the first place. Here’s Bob… […]

Before You Outline: How To Discover Your Story’s Big Moments

Before You Outline: How to Discover Your Story’s Big Moments

Too often, writers maintain a limiting viewpoint of outlines as “a list of scenes.” But outlining can (and should) be so much more. For starters, there’s all that good stuff in the outline before you outline. Before you ever get to the scene list, there are a gabillion important questions for you to ask about your […]

Big News! Introducing the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software

The various approaches authors bring to outlining their novels are vast. But the one thing we all have in common is the desire for an effective, streamlined process that helps us create a solid foundation for our stories—as painlessly as possible. I have long been a proponent of outlining, through my many resources both here […]

5 Rules of Writing A Worthy Sequel

5 Rules for How to Write a Sequel to Your Book

Just when you think you’ve figured out how to write a book, you realize you have to learn a whole new set of rules for how to write a sequel. You’d think writing the second book in a series couldn’t be that much different from writing the first one. They both have a beginning, middle, […]

How To Outline Your Book Series

How to Outline a Series of Bestselling Books

Every good series has to start somewhere. If you’re of the mindset (as I am) that a problem as complicated as the novel is best approached from the big-picture view of an outline, then it only makes sense that the even greater complexities of serial fiction will benefit even more when their authors understand how […]

The Nanowrimo Guide To Outlining (How To Write A Scene Outline You Can Use)

How to Write a Scene Outline You Can Use (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 9)

When most people ask “how to outline a novel,” what they’re really asking is “how to write a scene outline.” But here’s the thing: writing a good scene outline should be the last thing you do in your outlining process—which brings us to the ninth and final part in our two-month exploration of how to outline […]

The Nanowrimo Guide to Outlining (Learning What's Important About Your Characters)

Making the Most of Character Interviews (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 8)

Plot and character aren’t so different after all. In fact, in many ways, they’re the same thing. Over the course of the last seven posts, as you’ve focused on outlining your plot, you’ve also been outlining your characters, perhaps without even knowing it. But now it’s finally time to focus exclusively on character interviews. By […]

How to Structure Your Story’s Outline (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 7)

Story outline and story structure—are they different terms describing the same thing? This is a question I frequently receive, and the answer is, “No, they’re completely different concepts and tools.” But learning how to structure your story’s outline is a crucial part of the preparation process. So what’s the difference between outlining and structuring? Outlining is a process, in […]