No Outline? Good Luck.

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If your story is a road trip, your outline is your GPS.  Not using an outline to plan your story is akin to winging it on a road trip and hoping you don’t end up going off in a ravine.  I used to think that outlines were the antithesis to creativity.  No outline?  No problem.  I wrote and wrote and rewrote with no end in sight.  It was as if I were an aimless hitchhiker, just hoping to go somewhere without a plan for getting there.  If you want to finish your story, outlines are a necessity.  They don’t have to be inflexible.  You can always deviate some if that is where the story takes you.  A GPS will take you on the predictable route, but you don’t always see the great scenery until you ignore that persistent voice that tells you which direction to take.  As long as you know where you are going and how to get there, you can afford to take some detours along the way and discover some fantastic canyons.  Those canyons might be the element that adds color and depth to your story.

What if…

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As writers, we develop our stories by wondering “what if…”  As individuals, we must be careful about wondering the wrong “what if…” scenarios.  What if my book gets panned by Entertainment Weekly?  What if I don’t make enough money to quit my day job?  What if I only sell three copies and those three came from family?  Running through the worst possible outcomes will drive you to drink and never finish that book.  Self-doubt is a disease.  Don’t fall prey to it.  Demolish it and write the damn book.

Jumping off

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I’ve long been terrified of the social media realm and I’m not really sure why.  Fear of the unknown is all can come up with.  In order to write publicly (i.e. publish), one must embrace this particular type of fear and shake hands with it.  So making friends with social media is a must for anyone who wants to find their audience and be published for them.