The Mechanics of Writing – Part 2 “The Outline”

I wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember but until I got to the point where I was ready to put pen to paper, it was just talk. I had no idea how to start writing my book idea. Do I just start and wing it all the way through? Do I keep a journal with the ideas that came to me and followed the ideas? Do I create an outline? I researched and came across many different ideas on how to get started. I chose to create an outline. My story would be a trilogy and I knew it would be big so I decided to split the story into three parts. I determined that each book would be 45 – 50 chapters each and the word count I set myself for a goal was a minimum of 3,000 words per chapter. A very ambitious goal but I knew the story would support it. Yours could be 40 chapters at 1,000 words each. Does not matter. The outline took me approximately four hours to complete. That’s it! Four hours and I had the outline to book one. The outline would be my guide. My road map to follow. My outline consisted of one paragraph or a few sentences on what the chapter would be about. Pretty simple. I set out to write 47 mini stories tied together by the plot and the characters. Some chapters I blew past the 3,000 word count and others I struggled to get to 3,000. I also set a standard for myself. No word filler. I would not add unnecessary words to fill out a chapter. I just let the story soar and the words just naturally came. Certainly there were some changes to the original outline as I worked my way through it but surprisingly very little changes to the original. That is how I write a novel. Create an outline. The outline becomes my blueprint.

Build an outline and you will write a novel.

ideas

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