Tag Archives: writing

WRITING: Outlining Your Story…

10 May

Does anyone else have a problem with this? Because I always feel like I’m the only one who grapples with writing scene after scene in chronological order in a list-like format. It just never happens, and when it does I lose all motivation to write the story (or novel) in the first place.

So I googled ‘Outlining Your Novel’ and came across links that I used a lot when I used to outline like crazy; and I think some of them could be useful for a few of you. Here they are:

The Ominous Snowflake method: The Snowflake Method

This method… (Probably the most well-known) takes an astronomical amount of time (for me), which can be good, get to know your characters… But I’m impatient, very impatient. And by step 3 I’m on to the next outline website…

The Writer’s Digest Outline: Writing.com

I really like this way of outlining but I never feel like I have enough information to use when I’m finished, but for some people this has worked miracles!

Notecard Plotting: Notecard Plotting Under Pressure

This one is probably one of my favorites and I love Holly Lisle so I guess I’m a bit biased. She has great articles on writing and plotting and character development; just google her name and all of her websites will pop up!

Outline Your Novel In 30 Minutes: 30 Minute Outline

This is another favorite, not only does it only take 30 minutes (it actually took me a little over an hour) it helps me to flesh out my characters motivations and that helps me to brainstorm more scenes.

Do you guys have any recommendations on how to outline? Or do you not outline at all?


I had a fight with my MC today…

10 Apr

Have you ever placed yourself in front of your computer/laptop/notebook and felt completely lost, a million questions about your storyline, the wants and needs of your characters, plot developments, and my favorite, character names rushing through your head? Or maybe you stare stoically at the blank screen hoping inspiration will come down from thin air and magically twenty pages of perfect error-free text will appear before you. Or maybe you strategically and painstakingly plot your story/novel out, each bullet point on your outline describing every detail of each scene, and each character attached to a file with their name and corresponding picture from Google. Or maybe you’re like me and combine all of these methods which can create a bit of an unpredictable writing routine.

Today I took the “Wait for inspiration to strike” approach and ended up spending my day on Facebook… I tried to force inspiration by borrowing from my usual triggers; music, book blurbs, blogs, clicking through my reference photos, all to no avail. I ended up re-editing a past blog entry, snacked on starburst jellybeans (no sweets for me for awhile), and cleaned excessively (which for me is normal). I decided I needed to just sit and think for awhile about where exactly I wanted to go with my story (I’ve been editing and reworking this novel since the sixth grade) and I decided to imagine my character standing in the same room next to me so I could ask her some questions…

This is where I let my frustration get the better of me and I allowed myself to get annoyed with my Main Character (MC). She refused to answer my questions, which is understandable because I made her stubborn and difficult, but I am also the one who created her so I expected a little cooperation. She became even more difficult when I asked her questions about a scene I had just written that didn’t seem to run as smoothly as I had imagined; when I asked about a romantic interest she kept completely silent. I decided I would write her out of the story if she couldn’t tell me where she was going next… And then I decided that was probably not the greatest idea…

Imagining my characters in the same room is hard because I’ve created this fantastical world for them to fit into and suddenly I’ve pulled them out and placed them into my world. And then I hope that they answer my questions just because I happened to have a hand in their creation… That’s like saying you have to tell your mom about the party you went to last night or you’re grounded, because, she pretty much owns you… And it is exactly like that! Make your character speak to you! Yeah, she or he may be reluctant at first but you’ve got to be persistent and pull that story out of them.

I’m not saying to threaten your characters with groundings (although who knows, with some, that might work) I’m just saying put them in a corner and see what happens, imagine situations in which you wouldn’t normally place them and see how they react, imagine how they would interact with your best friend or the creepy neighbor who leaves skittles in his driveway for the neighborhood cats. Gage reactions and find out habits you hadn’t even realized your character possessed, these could eventually if not immediately help to create a new plot thread. The point is as much information as you want from your character, you have to put into getting out of your character;  you did after all create them. And now I have to resurrect my main character…

I also picked up four books from the store and I can’t wait to start them!

First Entry: I should be working on my Thesis…

3 Apr

I’ve decided that because I have been so inspired by so many author blogs, I want to start my own. I find the journey from writing to revising to publication an exhilarating one and  writing is such a personal endeavor which in the end gets shared with an audience (big or small) who only get to see the finished product; the polished, glossy, mostly error free version of something that you’ve slaved over for months, years, even decades. I want to share my journey in the hopes that I can hopefully help someone else going through the same journey and let them know they’re not alone!

To me the process/journey is what I’m most interested in which I just recently realized while trying to come up with a thesis statement for my body of work in school. The end product is definitely important because that is what everyone will see, that is what everyone is going to pick apart or hopefully enjoy, but to me the process is the most exciting part because during that process I have the control, I hold the reins and I decide who lives or dies. When it finally goes out into the world, whether it’s a finished story or a finished painting, you can’t influence how other people feel about it, how they review it, or even if they like it (unless you’re some kind of magic priestess who can alter people’s perceptions…).

So, because like many writers out there who do not want to post their writing in its unfinished state, wrinkled with errors and soiled with indulgences, this is mostly going to be a blog updated with news on where I am in my outline, my writing playlists, how many chapters I’ve finished, query letters, reviews for books that I have recently read, frustrations I’m dealing with, and so much more! (As long as I remember to update…) Thanks for reading and I’ll post something soon!