Search Results for: outline

How to Find and Fill All Your Plot Holes (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 4)

How to Find and Fill All Your Plot Holes (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 4)

What is the single most important job of an outline for NaNoWriMo—or any other book at any other time of the year? We might come up with lots of answers, but they all tend to boil down to just this one: avoiding plot holes. I hate plot holes. They drive me bazooey. There you are, […]

The Nanowrimo Guide to Outlining (How to Find the Heart of Your Story)

3 Steps to Find the Heart of Your Story (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 3)

Most of the time when you start figuring out how to outline a story, you know one of two things about that story. Either you know the skeleton of your story (its premise or plot), or you know the heart of your story. But it’s not enough to have just one. You gotta have both. On its surface, […]

The Nanowrimo Guide to Outilining (the First 4 Questions to Ask Yourself)

Start Your Outline With These 4 Questions (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 2)

“Where do you start your outline?” is a question I often receive. Now, if the obvious answer “start at the beginning” were, in fact, the right answer, no one would be asking this. The reason writers ask this question is because, when properly approached, outlines are anything but linear—which can make the “beginning” rather hard to identify. Whether you’re […]

How to Outline for NaNoWriMo: Should You Outline Your Novel?

How to Outline for NaNoWriMo: Should You Outline Your Novel?

Welcome to October—otherwise known as Cram Like Crazy for National Novel Writing Month (maybe we should call it LiCraFoNaNoMoWriMo—it’s got a certain ring, right?). Maybe you’re a NaNo veteran. Maybe you’re a tentative first-timer. Or maybe you’re not interested in writing 50,000 words in 30 days, but just want to figure out should you outline […]

What Should Your Book Outline Look Like? [Free Download]

Are you trying to figure out the best way to create your book outline? Ever wish you could gain a little insight into how other authors work through their outlines? Ever since writing my book Outlining Your Novel, I’ve gotten all kinds of requests from authors who want to see a full example of what my […]

My Writing Process: How I Use Scrivener to Outline My Novels

My Writing Process, Pt. 1 of 2: How I Use Scrivener to Outline My Novels

My writing process is a continually evolving thing. Not only does every new story require a slightly different approach–and not only am I constantly learning and refining–but sometimes a new tool comes along and completely revolutizes the whole system. That’s what the writing software Scrivener has done for my writing process this past year. For […]

how to write a faster scene outline

6 Ways to Outline Your Novel Faster

Here are six ways to outline your novel faster and more effectively. 1. Start With Your Character’s GMC–Goal, Motivation, and Conflict Nailing down your protagonist’s goal, motivation, and conflict (or GMC) is the first step in writing your outline. Solid plot foundations are built on what your protagonist wants, why it’s important, and what’s in the […]

The Evolution of a Scene: From Outline to First Draft

The Evolution of a Scene: From Outline to First Draft

Have you ever wanted to look under the hood of another writer’s process? Although we all have to create the unique processes that work for us as individuals, it’s always valuable to see what works for other authors—and specifically how those authors evolve each scene in their stories from idea to finished product. Today, I’m […]

Should You Outline Your Novel?

Today, I’m thrilled to continue announcing my new book Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success. The book, available September 26, 2011, features all kinds of tips on why outlining will make you a better writer, what kind of outline you should use, and how to put that outline to work to construct a […]

Should You Outline Backwards?

Should You Outline Your Book Backwards?

When you think of outlines, you generally think organization, right? The whole point of outlining, versus the seat-of-the-pants method, is to give the writer a road map, a set of guidelines, a plan. It only makes sense that an outline should be simple, streamlined, and linear. An outline should put things in order. So you’re […]