Waiting, hoping to get additional feedback to make more changes in the morning on Fires Down the Shenandoah: Joanna of Virginia. Few hours still left. Trying to occupy my mind with working out the next book or two. Would be great if I could write multiple stories at once, just don’t seem to have the mental capacity for that.

Looking at more outlining tools and advice. Here are another couple of articles that I found useful. http://www.wikihow.com/Outline-a-Novel

This one talked about eight different ways. Includes the first article’s and more so will only discuss it. https://litreactor.com/columns/8-ways-to-outline-a-novel

1.In the Snowflake method, one just keeps adding to the central idea. Normally my books start with a vision of the main character(s), and once I have them in my head and a really difficult problem for them to tackle, I spend a lot of time visualizing and working out the story in my head before I write a word. Probably why I’m so slow.

2. The next method the summary, I’ve used several times. State the story in a single sentence, then tell the story in a paragraph, then rewrite as a page, then make a list of scenes, and off you go.

3.Have also used the third method, the skeletal outline, at least since I tried my hand at screenwriting. Don’t think any of my scripts were very good, but it is a great way to see the bones of your story and the major turning points and incidents. As mentioned in previous posts, the Save the Cat outline available online is very useful for this.

4.Flashlight outlining was new to me, just shining a light on the details of what will happen in the scenes. Similar to the last two methods. As I said, I have to visualize the scene happening before I can write it so maybe this is what the author meant.

5.Free Writing is something I’ve used to come up with a flash story or start something when my brain feels blank. Suppose you could come up with a novel idea that way, although I never have.

6. The Visual Map sounds like the mind-mapping that I’ve talked about before. Like the author, I can’t read my handwriting enough to follow what I’ve written down. But I think the idea is to figure out the connections of your story. Suppose if I sat and typed the jottings down as an outline quickly enough, I would remember enough to come out ahead.

7.Contextual Preparation, working out the details of where the story happens, and doing an interview or filling out a questionnaire for your character. I’ve known writers who did a lot of this. One had a color coded notebook with a section for each part of her novel. Not sure she ever wrote the book, but she knew everything about it. Wish I were that organized and patient.

8. Outlining Software is also something I’ve never used. There are a lot of programs, especially for screenwriting, like Story Board, Story Weaver, etc. that sound wonderful. Scrivener, the magical word processing program a couple of my friends use, is supposed to have wonderful outlining options. According to Gregg Brickman, you can put in images of your characters, plot summaries for chapters or even break it down to scenes, then use the notecards from the bulletin board to write your back of the book summary, etc. Someday, when I get over my fear of learning it, I intend to fall under its spell.

Happy Writing.




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