My Popular Writing Posts on Tumblr

My Popular Writing Posts on Tumblr

So I decided to do a link set of some of my popular posts on Tumblr that have received 100+ notes. Here are the links!

Creating Character Backstory

Character Voice Consistency

Brevity: How to Write Less and Say More

How to Use Commas: The Not-So-Obvious Rules

Writing An Effective Action Scene

Creating Effective Tension in Your Story to Heighten the Stakes

Crafting Effective Dialogue

I had one more, but it’s too far back in my Tumblr to find.

A Weird Writing Quirk That Strangely Works

A Weird Writing Quirk That Strangely Works

I have a vanity charm necklace that I will be using on the cover. Not this one though.
I have a vanity charm necklace that I will be using on the cover. Not this one though.
So I got to chapter twenty-nine out of thirty-five in Stolentime and decided to quit the draft. Just like that. Not quit, as in I’m through with the story forever. But quit, as in I’m ready to start doing some revision outlines.

I did this with When Stars Die. I had about seven chapters left to write in the draft and just decided to stop to get revising. But it worked. I got to revisions and was able to complete the entire thing. I had to concentrate more on the last chapters during a third read through, but, nonetheless, I got the book complete.

I can’t tell you why I do this. I can only guess. I assume I do this because I hate drafting. I get to a certain point where I’m tired of drafting and decide it’s time to get to the revisions, even though I have those final chapters roughly outlined. This seems counterproductive because how am I supposed to work on the ending if I don’t have it? Well, I do a detailed outline of it, and it does take me longer to write, but I’m more fired up about it because I have my mind trained to realize what I’m doing is revising since I love revising–even if it’s technically not.

I want to be fired up when I write, not disengaged and apathetic. So I do whatever I can to fire me up. If I have to quit a draft 7/10ths of the way through to do it, so be it.

But it works for me. I get it done.

Do you have any strange writing quirks, like writing out of order, starting a later scene first, things of that nature?

The Different Ways To Outline A Novel

The Different Ways To Outline A Novel

I never used to outline my novels before. I used to go by the seat of my pants. But all that changed when Georgia McBride began editing the sequel to When Stars Die and told me there was something seriously amiss in the story arc overall. She couldn’t provide further explanation because, honestly, if something is seriously amiss in a story, what advice can you provide? The only thing she advised I do was go back through and create an outline.

So I did.

But then I decided to shelve it in order to work on When Stars Die. It needed to be revised, badly. I created a thorough outline for it, noting all important characters, major themes, story arcs, plotlines, ect. I didn’t want this book to turn out the way the sequel ultimately did (the sequel will be getting a makeover now that the prequel is finished). I simply wrote the revisions in a little Hello Kitty notebook. Of course, my cat threw up on it later, trashing my notes, but I had to go back and fix things anyway, so I started a new outline on the computer.

I simply used Microsoft Word to create this outline, and it was enough at the time. I got When Stars Die done, was able to create a banging synopsis with no plot holes, and now When Stars Die is–oh, I shouldn’t say anything. That is a surprise hopefully tomorrow.

In any case, I use Microsoft One Notes now to outline. I like that tabs can be created, and each tab can be a different chapter. I used One Note to outline my new novel that I hope to get back to working on some time this week. In any case, what do you use to outline, if you outline at all? And if you don’t outline, why not? If you do, how does outlining help you?