Outlining – Method 3: The Wall of Sticky Notes (aka “The Board”)

If you’re a visual person, Outlining Method #3 is for you! I call it The Wall of Sticky Notes, because that’s how I build it. Others create a Corkboard of Cards. In the business of screenwriting, it’s simply called “The Board.” As you can see, it has four lines: Act I, Act II part one, …
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3 Simple Tips for Finding Your Story

Some writers’ stories just come to mind, fully formed. Lucky them. It’s more likely that snippets of a story streak through your brain, like a naked drunk criss-crossing the football field, and when you chase it down to determine whether this tale is hot or not, it evaporates into thin air. Or maybe there’s a …
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10 Tips To Survive The Starving Artist Lifestyle

I’ve been living the life of a starving artist for a decade and a half. I’ve never had a steady salary job. I don’t have a trust fund. My average income is $20,000/year. Basically, I work just enough to get by and spend the rest of my time writing. Which will pay off. It already …
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Story Edit Using The “Save The Cat” Basic Beats

Whatever your writing process, whether you outline or dive straight into prose, there’s one step we all must do – story edit. There are innumerable things to edit in a manuscript, but let’s start with the bones of the story. After all, adding metaphors and sensory descriptions won’t matter if the story is weak. So …
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Basic Story Beats of The Hunger Games (based on the “Save The Cat” beat sheet)

I picked HUNGER GAMES as the first novel to break down into the Basic Story Beats because I knew it had all the elements in chronological order. After all, I’d read the novel thrice and was familiar with the story. Though I was shocked to find that the Debate didn’t actually happen on the page, …
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Outlining – Method 1: Basic Story Beats

Just as there are many ways to write a novel, there are many ways to outline a novel. You can use all the methods, one of the methods, or none of the methods. The choice is yours! Go nuts with the freedom! Myself, I use all of the outlining methods I will explain in the …
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5 Reasons to Outline Your Novel

There are writers who come up with an idea and just start writing and see where the story takes them. There are writers who mull over a story in their minds for months or years before they start writing. There are writers who write short stories and use those to create a novel. Then there …
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