Planning a Novel: Outlines

The current novel I am working on is a mystery series. I had actually intended it to be a romance novel but I learned very quickly I am just not capable, at this time anyway, to write in that genre.

Once I figured out I wanted it to be a mystery I needed to plan out what would happen. Ideas, characters flooded my mind. Quickly I decided on the main characters, a short background history, who the victim and murderer were and why the act was committed.

I found myself labeling each section as scenes. Scene 1 I introduce the main character, Scene 2 I introduce her work life, etc. Sometimes a scene is just a couple of sentences, other times it includes very detailed description of events and dialogue.

I firmly believe there is no right or wrong way to plan your outline. Some people know what they want to write and stick to it while I am sure others change their minds daily on what direction they want to go.

For me an outline lets me see what I’ve built, what I need to add, if there are any plot holes and how it’s all going to come together.

Do you outline? How detailed do you get? Do they help you or just add more stress?

Below are a couple of helpful links on creating outlines:

Writers Digest
The Writing Cooperative
The Write Life

Planning a Novel

I’m 100 percent a planner. Mostly it starts off with a couple of key scenes or dialogue. For me even though I’ve written something doesn’t mean it is set in stone.

First I start with an outline, then conduct some research, start deciding on details on the characters and the setting and finally ending with a timeline – still trying to master this part though haha.

Are you a planner or panster?

If a planner, whats your process?

Facing Obstacles 

So I’ve realized that I don’t have enough material to finish my novel. *sigh*

The last couple of days have been filled with brainstorming, index cards and lots and lots of editing. *double sigh*

Think my next step is to research crimes similar to the ones that happen in my novel. Thinking it might help me see what steps I might be missing in an investigation or provide inspiration for the narrative.

This is definitely a set back in regards to the timeline I gave myself. I’m trying not to be negative or down about the situation but reminding myself that this is all new to me and that it is important to learn now and grow as a writer so in the future I will have a better grasp of how to complete a novel in a timely manner.

Most importantly I must not give up and keep going forward!

Hope your writing adventure is going well! Let me know of any setbacks you’ve had and how you overcame them! 🙂

Needed to Regroup

Needed to take a couple days away from social media to regroup and focus on writing. Unfortunately I discovered I don’t have enough material for my novel. I wasn’t 100% percent sure I had enough ideas anyway so I’m not too surprised.

The only real bummer is that I put myself on a deadline to have this novel done by the end of September and this may set me back. My goal is I have to write two pages a day. Sometimes it is a breeze and other times it feels like I am learning to write all over again. Can y’all relate?

Trying to stay focused and determined to stay on track. Means I may not be able or have enough energy to give with networking. Feel like I am no good at it anyways. I’m a pretty private person in general so it’s been hard to think of what to share, what to talk about. Hopefully I can find a balance – I’m all about balance! ha – between everything.

Until then…

A dog’s life

I’m sitting over here struggling to keep my eyes open while writing and this one….is snoring away. Guess it is hard being a dog huh?

Didn’t get much sleep last night and I’ve been struggling all day to keep my eyes open and my focus centered on writing. Thankfully I met my goal for today and don’t have to worry about playing catch up tomorrow.

Think a glass of wine is calling my name….

Happy Weekend

Summer night fun…

Got a full weekend of writing ahead of me. Not that I’m complaining. It’s going to be hot, hot, hot outside.

Really pushing myself to work on my novel so I can finish it soon. I have no idea how long it will take me to find an agent and get this novel out there. I keep imagining the worst but realistically I have no idea how long it will take. Trying to stay in denial for as long as possible! hahaha

Happy weekend everyone.