The Gripping Climax – an ingredients list

After five solid months of writing, some of it even on the work in progress, I now approach the crucial moment in my story: the climax. Here is where all the foreshadowing I've been doing over the last 100,000 words must come to fruition; where the hero must face his demons and overcome his opponent; where... Continue Reading →

Planning backwards with a scene list

I'm very nearly done with the first draft of the book. Very nearly. I just have a couple of scenes to write near the end, plus some backfill to do at the start. This means it's time to do what I always do at this stage of a story, and make a scene list. Which... Continue Reading →

Book blog: Save the Cat (and your logline)

If you struggle with story structure, theme, or bookending your work with definite character progression, then Blake Snyder's screenwriting guide, Save the Cat! is a must-read. I started this book last week and I've re-read parts of it so many times already, in particular his guidance on creating a killer story premise or logline. I've done... Continue Reading →

Master post on outlining a novel – 21 ways to outline your book

In my attempts to outline my novel I did a lot of online reading as well as the books I've previously mentioned. Google will find you many sites which offer help with outlining a (fiction) book, but I've gathered 20 useful articles. Which one suits you? This starts small and builds up from a single sentence for... Continue Reading →

Outlining challenge- finish my novel outline in two days

This week I have a mission - to finish the outline for my book. I've been working on it for a few weeks, by reading from some experts, plus actually drafting some outlines, mind maps and scene lists. I think it has helped, but now I have a sneaking feeling that the main point of all... Continue Reading →

My Biggest Pants Yet – outlining a novel, Part 2

I read these books last week when I got in trouble with outlining my first novel. Below are my impressions of these books, and what I've learned by reading them. Take off your pants! by Libbie Hawker. This was my first admission that, for a story longer than anything I’d ever written*, I needed help.... Continue Reading →

My Biggest Pants Yet – Outlining a novel, Part 1

Where I come from, pants means knickers. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about outlining my novel. In Lancashire, (and also in, you know, America) pants means trousers. Flying by the seat of them is a style of writing beloved of those who like to be spontaneous, creative, freeform. They are known as... Continue Reading →

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