Thursday, May 23, 2019

How I Outline My Books

Welcome everyone!

Let me begin with an update on where things stand concerning my Hunter's Rose series then I'll get to the topic for the day.

Book 1 - The Huntsman and the She-Wolf: Fully Released

  • My book is available in four formats on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and iTunes.
  • I am currently advertising on Amazon and exploring advertising opportunities on Google, Facebook, GoodReads, and BookBub.
  • Revisions have been made to the eBook post-launch.
Book 2 - Title Still Classified as Top Secret: In Revisions
  • The First Draft is finished!
  • Beta readers and editors are working on feedback.
  • Revisions are ongoing and will be ongoing for months and months.
  • Half of the artwork is finished.
  • The other half hasn't been started though :(
  • Date is set for cover and layout.
Book 3 - Title Not Even Thought About Yet: Outlining
  • All notes for Book 3 have been collected and organized.
  • Outline for Book 3 is nearly finished.
  • First chapter is sketched out.
So all of that is really exciting! It also struck me, as I worked on putting this post together, that perhaps I should discuss my outlining process. I am a BIG believer in outlining. I know some authors (including friends of mine) don't do it, but I'm just too meticulous of a person not to plan ahead.

When I started writing my first book, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew I needed to outline, but I didn't know how. That's when I happened upon the video below. I was SO LUCKY to find that vid. I could have clicked on any of the hundreds of others out there, but this one was the precise one I needed to see at the time. If you're considering writing a work of fiction, it may be useful for you as well.

I took things one step further than she does, though. I use the numerical outline in my word processor to create a moment-by-moment outline of what happens. Here's a pic of my outline from Book 1:

Now just because something is in my outline, doesn't mean it makes it into the book. It's a guideline, not a straitjacket. So, I create these outlines for each book, and I do try to make them as detailed as possible. The more work I do upfront, the less I have to do as I write the actual story. It takes a lot of pressure off me.

Sometimes, I'll revise the outline as I go. Other times, I'll just write what needs to be written and not worry about updating the outline. Once I get past a chapter, the outline isn't relevant to me anymore. If anything, it serves and an artifact of where I originally conceived the story, and it can be fun for me to go back and see how much things changed between the outline and the finished product.

So anyway, hope that proves enlightening. Looking forward to sharing all my secrets with you in the months ahead :)



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