Tag: FAQs Help and Tutorials

Upcoming Changes

First thing I want to do is thank everyone that has followed, read, and shared my blog! You have all been great, and I hope to continue sharing in your writing journey.

There are some changes coming that will be adjusting how this blog is run. First of all, as I have posted about before, I am currently helping manage Eat Sleep Write (www.eatsleepwrite.net). It’s an awesome writing community I hope I can encourage you all to be part of. All my blog posts are available on ESW, and I am writing there regularly.

The second major change is I am going to be turning my focus toward writing on ESW. I will still be providing the same “how to” blog posts (and more!) and giving insights and writing pieces to anyone and everyone! I will be responding to comments, emails, and thoughts. However, this means I will only be updating this blog once a month from here on out. I can’t keep double posting because it is driving ESW’s SEO plugin absolutely nutty which means I have to rewrite things twice to get them up (which is a pain). SO! I will, henceforth, be updating almost exclusively on ESW.

The good news is that with me moving over to ESW I will be posting more frequently, be more accessible (please shoot me an email at beth@eatsleepwrite.net!) and will be able to offer more content as I launch my Q&A series and continue my usual fare of thoughts and insights into writing. I will also be posting my personal writing on ESW.

The first Q&A blog post is available here: http://eatsleepwrite.net/qa1. The Copy Desk on ESW is my personal blog where I will be updating posts and information far more than once a week.

I look forward to seeing all of my familiar faces there and having you all join me on my new page!


Organization & Outlines

Every writer approaches organizing their writing differently, however every successful writer needs to first organize it. One of the problems I’ve seen with submissions is that oftentimes the work – while interesting and potentially good – needs explanations made and needs to have the pacing and flow worked on.

The best story can become a jumbled and confusing if there is no clear organization and a writer often can become lost in their own writing if they don’t have a strict structure to work in. It’s like writing a long paper in school – without an outline it’s easy to get confused. With my colloquium in college I had finished the paper without an outline and then when I went back and read it… I nearly cried. 30 pages of nonsense.

While not all writers use a formal “outline”, one should at least consider some form of organization. For me, the way I do it is I come up with the plot and write that down (long-hand, I always do this kind of thing long hand first, for some reason). Once the plot has been worked out, I set myself up an outline.

Each major event I need to hit gets its own heading so I know what I need to hit for the plot to work. After that, I make smaller entries about the details and any filler material. While I am entirely certain many of these details and even the order of some of these main points may change, I at least have a roadmap of where I’m going.

Once I have a direction, I feel comfortable and even confident. It also helps me prevent any continuity errors down the road because I won’t kill someone off in chapter 2 and bring them back in chapter 11. Not by mistake, anyway. Now, an outline doesn’t guarantee that it’s foolproof! Chances are you’ll come up with some errors and mistakes (it’s inevitable, that’s what an editor is for Winking smile), but at least there won’t be any glaring organizational issues if you keep roughly to what you had started with and if you make any significant changes to the order of things make sure you write it down!

For me, the best way to do an outline has to be pencil and paper. There’s just no duplicating it.  At the bottom of this blog, I have an example of an outline I did for one of the novels in the series I’m working on. The entire outline is 100% different now, I had to rework a lot of it, but it’s a good example of an outline for a novel.

I blacked out all my characters’ names, the name of the work, and any details that would be indicative of my series. No offense to anyone, but I don’t want the world to know what I’m writing just yet.