The Truth About Outlining Revealed

Today we’re going to be talking about outlining. ‘Cause we all know it’s not truly what we think it is. *wiggles eyebrows*

The Truth About Outlining Revealed

People nowadays pass outlining off as something any author can do in excess without losing their souls. But is it?

This greatly-debated question is the subject of our post today. Though this is a brief little discussion, I hope it will inform you as to the dangers of over-outlining.

Outlining is the formation of novel ideas pre-writing to maximize your chances of success during the first draft. This may come in many forms – the bullet points, the summary, etc.

Outlining can be a very good thing. In fact, I think it’s one of the best things someone can do pre-writing if they want to have a functional first draft. But there is such thing as over-outlining.

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25 Spoiler-Free Facts About The Dressmaker’s Secret

This post was inspired by Victoria Lynn, my fellow author and friend. Also, I think Abigayle Claire, author of Martin Hospitality (a book I keep meaning to buy a copy of and read), did something like this? I can’t remember.

Anyway, lots of people inspired me to do this (although Victoria was the main one), and … I loved the idea, so here goes.

Y’all know that’s how blogging works for me …

Also, sorry about the post being out late. I was busy yesterday watching Pirates of the Caribbean. *nods* But isn’t Keira Knightley gorgeous, though!? Admit it. You think she is …

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Completely Random Updates

Yesterday, I went through my list of post ideas and tried to pick one that would be perfect to publish today. I considered writing about how you should write, but I just posted about naming characters. I consider rambling about my books, but I’ve done that way too much already.

Then I considered not posting. But I felt like that would be a bad way to kick of my new, two-post-a-week schedule (more on that later). So … what should I post?

“Completely random updates?” Why not. I haven’t anything lamer to do today.

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Five Once a Stratton Quirks

Once a StrattonWhile writing my current works-in-progress, Once a Stratton, I’ve noticed a few things that just don’t add up … or are simply not supposed to be there. I decided, instead of calling them ‘errors,’ to call them ‘quirks.’

It’s my sneaky way of getting you to read about me being stupid without even knowing it.

I mean, I guess you know it now … but you wouldn’t have if I hadn’t told you. Because I’m honest. Painfully honest.

Basically, unless I outline thoroughly, my characters take over my novel and make it into something I never intended it to be.

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Moanings of a Brain Dead Teen

Yesterday was Easter, and now we have a very light week of school as my dad’s on vacation (#homeschoolcool). And let me tell you, I need it.

My mind is a lot of spinning cogs and gears, all whirling a hundred miles a minute. When you throw in algebra mixed with shapes, ancient languages mixed with translation sheets, animals mixed with science, and add a generous dose of history, government, grammar, and essays, the cogs stop spinning.

I’m not joking. This is not a test. My brain is dead.

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10 Tips for Surviving Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo (at least April Camp NaNoWriMo) is even crazier than actual NaNoWriMo.

You know why? Because NaNoWriMo is in November. Soccer is over, school is dragging, it isn’t Christmas yet, and you’re just trudging through life like a tree. (What? I stand by that metaphor …) You want something exciting to happen, and if it’s anything, NaNo is exciting.

April, however? I don’t know about you, but by April, my brain is exhausted. It just doesn’t want to do anything anymore. (Hence, the hiatus we’re currently experiencing.)

As you can see, surviving Camp NaNoWriMo is indeed a daring feat. So, here are ten things you can do to make it through the grueling event without passing out. (And yes, only about half of these are serious …)

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Plotting Crash Course, Day Four: Cheat Sheets and a Break

the-plotting-crash-course

Well, we’ve only got a couple more days until NaNoWriMo starts. I’ve been doing a lot of work to get myself prepared – such as spending all afternoon and evening yesterday reading a random book which has nothing to do with NaNo Prep.

Yep. Subtle sarcasm …

Seriously, though, folks. Lately I’ve been working a lot on my cheat sheet. What is my cheat sheet, you may have asked (and if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you anyway)?

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Plotting Crash Course, Day Three: A New Book and a Perfect Review

the-plotting-crash-course

This has been very much so a crash course … even more so than expected! I’ve done about a quarter of the posts about this as I expected to (but, to be fair, I intended to start in September and then stuff happened … blog parties, deciding to publish a book I had no intention of even finishing, etc.), and I’m not quite as well-prepared as I’d like to be with NaNoWriMo coming in less than a week.

Yesterday my copy of Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland finally arrived! It’s absolutely beautiful. 🙂

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It’s also full of amazing advice. I’m already about halfway through it. And everything I read makes me feel more guilty.

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Beautiful Books, #1

beautiful books

I didn’t know about this because I … I just didn’t, but around this time every year, Sky and Cait take a break from Beautiful People and do Beautiful Books instead to celebrate NaNo.

I figure this is a good idea for me to do now, as I’ve been getting the basics of At Her Fingertips assembled in my head, starting the pre-outlining (what?! The more perfectionistic you are, the more outlining you need to do to even finish a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad first draft!), etc.

After all, I’ve got tons and tons of little details … and sometimes it’s a good time just to take a step back and say, “Okay. We’ve examined every tree as thoroughly as any golden retriever. Time to take a step back and look at the forest. Like a border collie.” What? Border collies are scientifically proven big-picture thinkers! Okay, I just made that up …

So … here are the questions. 🙂

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Plotting Crash Course, Day 2: Character Sheets and Aesthetics

the-plotting-crash-course

Today we’ll be talking about character sheets and novel aesthetics, because I started developing a playlist today, got excited about it, and need to share it with you.

Let’s start out with character sheets.

Now, everyone has their own version of the character sheets, and you can find about a thousand, all relatively good, by just Googling ‘character sheets.’ I developed my own this year … pointlessly (more on that later).

Anyway, here’s my character sheet:

Basics:

Full name:

Nickname(s):

Gender:

Reason (for being in the story, like protagonist, supporting character, etc.):

Age in Story:

Birthdate:

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