Use a Story Board to Plot Your Next Novel.

I’M TRYING IT FOR MY NEXT BOOK.

Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you like writing on a whim or do you like to plan every little detail? What if I say you can have your cake and eat it too?

Woman writing her next story book

I can’t tell you how many writer’s seminars, meetings, or online courses I’ve taken, all have one thing in common, they suggest using an outline. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of outlining your work. In fact, if you don’t take the time to outline in some fashion, your writing will not be succinct.

3 ways to hack the brain and engage your reader.

Story Secrets Finally Exposed!

Why is it that some poorly written novels sell really well and well-written novels don’t sell at all? Great writing takes time but crafting a story your readers will finish, takes longer.

The goal of selling a novel is to keep the reader interested in reading and loving the book from beginning to end.

Take Your Outlining to the Next Level With these 3 ideas!

How to write better today!

Writing a book is a very satisfying accomplishment, but also a time-consuming ordeal. How do you get your book written in a timely manner? Should you outline or simply fly by the seat of your pants?

This past weekend I finished writing the first draft to a children’s book and started my next novel. I didn’t do a whole lot on this blog, simply because I am working toward getting some books out of me and onto paper. But one thing I’ve been asked is, “How do you keep your book organized and written in such a short time?

How To Take The Headache Out Of Writing a Novel.

Winning Tactics For Starting your Book

I love to write. It’s fun to sit down and watch the cursor put words onto the screen. However, if you’ve ever sat down to write a book, after a few pages you wonder if you’ll ever get your book written.

Writing a novel is a daunting task, but with the right tools and gumption, you can accomplish this monumental task.

I began working on a novel in college. It didn’t take me long to realize I fulfilled my entire plot by page 10. What was I doing wrong, and why couldn’t I finish my story?

Flash-forward to 2008 and I was knee deep into writing a novel that I was proud of–albiet a different story altogether. I carefully finished the last chapter, did a self-edit and had the book bound. That Christmas, I gave out copies of them to my family and a few close friends.

That first draft was nowhere complete, and it certainly needed work. But the principles I put in place have guided me on writing any book. Now, with two books under my belt–with a third in the works–and a few short ebooks, I know what it takes to see success and finish my novel’s first draft.

So how do you write a novel without all the headache that goes along with it? Four ways.

1. Begin with an idea.

No great book just happens. I’ve been reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. It’s the much-awaited sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. What I learned, Go Set a Watchman was written before the famous latter. Her editor found To Kill a Mockingbird hidden away as a flashback scene, and told her to write that instead.

Your novel is not too dissimilar. Every story needs a beginning. Every book is birthed out a portion of that story.

When you’re beginning to flesh out the idea, write down anything and everything that comes to mind. I use Workflowy.

2. Write a simple outline.

Once you have your idea, it’s time to begin fleshing out the details. This is where the rubber meets the road. Every great book needs to know where it’s going before you begin.

This is where outlining comes in handy. Now, if you’re a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants) pay attention. I’m not saying you need to be detailed, but I am saying you need to know where your story is headed, what the major plot is before you begin.

Without this, your book will fail. I know this because I have several failed manuscripts on my computer right now.

Be as detailed as you need to be to begin. But here’s my caution, don’t let outlining keep you from beginning to write your first chapter. I’ve met several people who are forever in the outlining stage, they never start writing.

A simple outline could entail writing your chapters and giving them titles with a simple paragraph description. The goal is to begin fleshing out your idea.

3. Write your last chapter.

This is probably the most critical part of writing. Planning your novel. If you don’t know where you’ll end up, you’ll never arrive at your intended destination.

Think of Google Maps. When you’re planning your trip, you enter your final destination, then your starting point. Writing a novel is very similar. If you begin writing your end result, when you begin, you know how you’re going to end the story.

If you’ve not tried this approach to writing a novel, I recommend giving it a try. Beginning your writing adventure with the final destination will help you stay on target and finish your story strong, instead of falling into your ending.

No one likes a cobbled together ending.

4. Write your first 3 chapters.

As with writing your last chapter, you need to know how you’re going to begin writing your story. My suggestion is to begin writing your first three chapters. This step will enable you to start with a strong beginning.

When I’m working on a novel, the first few chapters gives me a sense of where the story is headed and where my first major conflict will happen. Without these key chapters, I cannot verify where I want my story to begin.

These first few chapters will not, typically be, the start of your novel, but are used as a catapult to finding your beginning. I will typically delete most of what I write in these first chapters. But what I look for is a golden nugget that I will use as my first chapter.

My rule–and there are a lot of people who will agree or disagree with me–is to begin a book with some kind of mystery or conflict. Use a heightened moment of action or suspense to pull your readers into the narrative of your story. Once you find that, delete the rest and begin your book.

These four areas; idea forming, outlining, writing an ending and beginning gives new writers a lot of headaches. Don’t let fear hold you back from writing your novel. But if you can use these headache crushing steps, you can begin writing a novel you and your readers will be proud of.

Question: Where have you struggled in getting your book off the ground? What other steps have you tried? Leave a comment by clicking here!

063: Write the Story that Demands Attention. [Podcast]

Why you are writing the wrong book.

Writing the great American novel is a dream for most authors. But the reality, those come few and far between, and I guarantee most of us will never craft that perfect novel. In today’s episode, I want to talk about writing the story that demands to be told.

When I began to write my first novel, I had no idea how it would turn out. Today, while I’m currently writing my next novel, I have a much better idea of where I”m heading, and I’ll explain the changes I’ve made along the way.

Listen to the Audio:

Listen to episode: (00:28:52)

062: 3 Writing Habits that Produce Real Results. [Podcast]

Taking your craft to the next level through a mindset change.

Writing is daunting to some and comes easily to others. But what separates the pros from the dabblers? In today’s podcast episode I talk about 3 habits I use to write nearly 100,000 words a year (in the episode I mentioned 50,000 as the high end. However, I miss-spoke it would be closer to the low end).

As a writer, it’s easy for me to say just sit down and write. Duh! It’s that simple. But is it? I’ve come across several writers who ask me; “How do you find the time to write as much as you do?” There is a science to it and I’ll show you how.

Listen to the Audio:

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6 Things Every Novel Must Have.

Writing for Readers.

Books are powerful. They have the ability to change lives and allow us to see ourselves through a different lens. As writers we have to learn to become stronger at what we’re not good at. It’s all about learning and growing to become a better writer.

Some of the best fiction is about a character who changes. Shouldn’t we be pushing our main characters forward to a life changing moment? It’s in those moments that the reader has a life-changing moment, whether they know it or not.

051: Why you should write that Novel [Podcast]

6 things every novelist must have in their book.

Books are powerful. They have the ability to change lives and allow us to see ourselves through a different lens. As writers we have to learn to become stronger at what we’re not good at. It’s all about learning and growing to become a better writer. Some of the best fiction is about a character who changes. Shouldn’t we be pushing our main characters forward to a life changing moment?

In today’s episode we’re going to talk about writing fiction. I want to walk you through 6 things every writer must know when writing their novel.

Listen to the Audio:

[powerpress]

You can find the audio archives of this show HERE!