Search Results for: outline

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 […]

Outlining Your Novel The 5-Step Gameplan

Outline Your Novel: The 5-Step Game Plan

Generally speaking, writers fall into two different categories: outliners and non-outliners (or, as my critique partner Linda Yezak has dubbed them, “seat-of-the-pantsters”). I’m an outliner. Mostly, I outline because I’m lazy. I hate rewriting; I hate watching my burst of pride and relief at the end of a novel dissipate in a realization of a hole-riddled […]

The Main Reason Your Story’s Premise Is Important

Your story’s premise is the foundation of your work. This is true for the shaping of the story itself, and it is also true from a marketing perspective. For both writers and readers, the premise is the reason we become interested in a story. Even when you don’t know your premise until late in the […]

3 Things to Know About the Ending of a Story

There are three parts of a story that are difficult to write: the beginning, the middle, and the ending. (I was going to start the article by referencing the ending of a story as one of the hardest parts, but then I realized… it’s all hard. Ahem.) Each has its own special set of challenges, […]

Should You Edit As You Go?

Should you edit as you go? This is a question just about every writer asks at one point or another. Part of the reason for the prevalence of the question is that the question is in fact complex and contextual. In short, the answer to “should you edit as you go?” isn’t always a simple […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 22: How to Use Archetypal Character Arcs in Your Stories

And so we find ourselves (almost) at the end of a nearly six-month journey through the possibilities of archetypal character arcs. If you’ve stuck with me through what is by far the longest series I have ever shared, then I hope, like me, you are enthralled and excited by the possibilities that archetypes offer for […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 19: The Flat Archetype of the Ruler

The Ruler represents the Flat or “resting” archetype that bridges the Queen’s rise to power and the King’s eventual surrender of that same power. As such, the Ruler represents the potential period in a person’s life in which he or she is in a position of leadership. This Ruler might be a literal head of […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 9: The Maiden’s Shadow Archetypes

In so many ways, we view life as a story. Within the lifelong journey of this story, the first challenge is that of becoming an autonomous individual—an independent and responsible adult. However obvious that may be, the journey itself cannot be taken for granted. Indeed, although we may all grow up chronologically, the struggle to […]

7 Writing Lessons Learned in 2020

Happy New Year! For me, the turning of the year is certainly a time of examining habits, renewing intentions, and creating plans. But more than setting goals for the coming year, I prefer to think about the lessons I have learned from the year that has passed. In my experience, goals all but just happen […]

What Is Dreamzoning? (7 Steps to Finding New Story Ideas)

Every writer knows a thing or two about daydreaming. But what about dreamzoning? What’s that—and how can it help you cultivate inspiration for your storytelling? Put simplistically, dreamzoning is basically just daydreaming on steroids. It’s purposeful, focused daydreaming. It’s intense. It’s fun. And if you’re a writer, it’s the mother lode of all story ideas. […]