Wrapping Up the Novel Outline Process

I'm very happy to say that my novel outline should be completed later today. That leaves me with four more days to go through it all, fill in any holes that still exist (I've been keeping notes on things like that as I go along, so that should be relatively painless), and make a list of anything else I may want to research further before writing a full manuscript draft. Saturday is Day 30 of the 30-day plan for the current outline. I am absolutely tickled that I've gotten this far, because there were a few points where I really thought I might quit.

During the process, the story evolved before my eyes. Much of my research was scrapped because it became irrelevant. I did more research along the way. I added an extra viewpoint character. I completely changed the role of another to add more tension / another surprise element to the story. I'm pretty happy with a lot of the changes that just kind of manifested themselves during the process. Then again, this is precisely why outlining can be a great thing, no matter what system you follow.

While I'm finishing up this outline, I'm also busy thinking about the next one (where I'll be using the plan in Book in a Month). I was originally going to do another dark piece of fiction (the one I'm simply referring to as "fairy tale" on my book writing blog for the time being), but now I'm not sure. That one I still need to hash out in my head first - I don't know exactly how I want to go about it, although I'm thinking it's actually going to be like two stories rolled into one (not sure how to explain it yet).

So I thought about working on a comedy (the one I'm calling "Three Weeks" for now on the book writing blog). However, that one is closer to a vignette style (although not exactly). Anyway, I'm not sure of the odd styles of multiple stories are going to work for the other outlining process. I'll choose one and adapt it to work - just not sure which yet.  I'll likely take one to two weeks off between outlines to finish up my current e-book, get my worksheets printed and in order for the process, etc.

The new novel outline experience won't be featured here. It's going to instead be covered at All Book Writing, while this blog continues focusing on book marketing and PR topics. I hope at least a few of you will be interested enough to follow it over there.

EDIT: Just wanted to confirm that yes, I did in fact finish up the outline today. Yay! I still have a few days to clean it up, fill in a few holes, make notes for anything else I might want to research before drafting, etc. I'll probably update Saturday when the 30-day program is over with some thoughts on the whole process

On another note, I wanted to confirm that I'll be moving on with the next novel outline shortly, and I've officially decided today that I'll be working on a comedy this time - one I'm calling Three Weeks. You'll be able to follow along with that process over at AllBookWriting.com. I've been doing a lot of brainstorming today on the general story, trying to figure out how I'm going to adapt the outline plan to it (from Book in a Month) as it's not a "normal" continuous story. I may start as soon as tomorrow. I was going to take a week or two off, but I'm feeling rather "into" the story right now, so I figure I may as well run with it - and I don't think it'll be a huge burden cleaning up one outline while starting on the next. I'll update more about that on the other blog.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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1 thought on “Wrapping Up the Novel Outline Process”

  1. Congratulations, Jennifer! I think you touched upon a point that could bear emphasis when you said the next idea wasn’t hashed out in your head yet. That idea simmering process is vital even before writing an outline or 30-day draft. I’ll follow your other project on your new blog.


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