If someone’s suggestion of fixing your ‘comma splicing problem’ has you running to your doctor’s office or you just haven’t figured out why writers refer to adverbs as ‘the modifiers that must not be named’ (pitchforks and torches, anyone?), then you’re sitting exactly where I was six months ago.
Got an awesome plot for a story? Great! Have a knack for writing witty dialogue? Fantastic! Guess what? There’s tons more to it. The cold, hard truth is that writing a novel is work and I’m nowhere close to being done.
As a self-proclaimed ‘newbie’, I’m fully prepared to divulge all the embarrassing, disheartening, and hopefully successful moments that being a newbie in the writing world entails. Let’s start at the beginning. Because Maria sang it right guys; it’s a very good place to start.
One large part of writing that I’ve stubbornly battled against is Outlining. I am a reckless, fly by the seat of my pants writer, meaning I use no formal outline. (I also mix my whites with my colors. Oh, yeah. I’m that wild.) And to date I have refused to do more than a simple paragraph or two of summary.
I do not recommend this method-at least not for fellow newbies. My current WIP has been rewritten three times…so far. I love my characters, my story, and my resolution for them all. But each time I get to the halfway point, I find a gaping hole that nothing short of reworking the majority of the story would fix. Does this mean all hope is lost? Nope. With the help of some more experienced writers I’ve been directed to a few sites that showcase different ways to tackle the outlining process:
Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method – A ten step process that uses layers to build your story from conception to completion.
Holly Lisle’s Professional Plot Outline Mini-Course – (Thanks Michelle!) – You have to sign up to receive the PDF file by email. But it’s free, and if the course is anywhere near as amazing as the other stuff I’ve checked out on her page, it will be well worth the read!