Outing Your Novel 2.0


Outlining Your Novel

Writer's Write

Like any writer, this is a step in the process where it gets real. By this times character profiles should have been done, the plot sketched out on many different post it notes or a notebook. This is the part where your desk or writing area looks a mess with so many different ideas and levels to your story. Writers outline in many ways. Some do not use an outline at all. Whatever way you fancy, outlining or sorting your ideas is a must. Depending on what of novel you are writing, research is very important and some research can take months or even years to sort through. For example, imagine writing a crime fiction novel. You may have old case files, have suspects to figure out, and more.

 

When it comes to outlining, think of it as telling a story from the beginning, middle and the end. Or for screenwriters this Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3, but take things step by step. Ask yourself these questions: How do I want the story to start? What will the main character do in the beginning of the story? Is he/she being dramatic? Is the character going to talk in a narrative tone or third person? Check out this example of how an outline can go.

  1. Main Character
  • Who is it? ( Give me a full fabricated name)
  • Zodiac Sign
  • Mannerisms ( is he/she shy? Smooth and charismatic? A Jerk?)
  • Where does his story start? (High school, middle school, College?)
  • What made him the main character the way he/she is? (Pain, addiction, broken heart)
  • Add other characters, friends, parents, situations and incidents. Give them names, descriptions, complexions, mannerisms and characteristic. Be specific.
  1. Family Life
  • Does the main character have siblings?
  • What was his household like? Day to day routine?
  • Parents accepting of he/she? Did he feel like the black sheep? Got along with everyone?
  • Talk about parents were they good parents? Bad parents?
  1. Personality of Main Character
  • Did he get along with his peers?
  • Have a best friend?
  • Popular/Unpopular
  • What did he like to do for fun?
  1. Plot
  • What happens that shifts the main characters life/lifestyle? What made it hard?
  • Explain in detail, how he was feeling while his life was changing
  • What makes the transition of a innocent child to an adult?
  • Is the main character married? Have kids? What is that structure like while he’s going through what he is?
  1. Final Result Or Ending
  • What is the main character taking away from this?
  • How has he/she learned?
  • Does the good outweigh the bad depending on the situation?
  • What would you like to see for an ending?

 

 

I’ve attached some blog posts that will help you get starting with the writing process once you are ready. Included are other example outlines and more notes as well. I’ve put them in order of the writing when you get started. I hope this article and the other examples I have provided help you go far with your writing! NanowriMo is coming soon ( National Novel Writing Month) and I hope you guys that are writers will participate.

 

 

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/back-to-basics-character-profile/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/the-power-of-the-plot/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/why-is-it-so-hard-to-choose-names-for-your-characters/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/is-it-okay-to-use-a-pseudonym/

 

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/i-want-to-turn-my-book-into-a-movie-how-should-i-do-that/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/my-gift-to-you-signatory-agent-list-for-writers/

 

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/creating-the-ending-of-your-story/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/are-word-counts-really-that-important/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/my-book-is-completed-now-what/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/my-book-is-completed-now-what/

 

 

 

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The Waiting Game With Queries


164205-Life-Is-Beautiful-Happy-Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! I hope all is well on you end. As for me, I am learning patience in more ways than one. Let’s see, I will say that my mind is on an overload from querying so many agents. Granted, agents look so many queries everyday, but for some reason I have in my mind that they are supposed to respond to me as soon as I send the e-mail. LOL! This is silly I know. I am learning patience, but it is getting hard.

snoopy

I have read and watching many videos on how to pass the time when waiting to hear back from agents. Thus far, I have queried about 60 agents and have gotten 8 rejections. The ball can still be in my court, so I have not given up hope yet. It is still alive. Since I have started this process of traditional publishing, my mind has not been on writing anything but my blogs here and my article for Conscious Talk Magazine ( btw, go subscribe at conscioustalkmag.com). I am still job hunting like crazy so I am trying to stay occupied. How can you when you read books that are NYT’s Best Sellers and know that pieces or a few pages of your works is out there for agents to read and determine if I have a best seller too? So, this is what I have come up with:

  1. Meditation – Relieve some of the anxiety that I am feeling.
  2. Pray – Prayer changes EVERYTHING!
  3. Read – This is a given. You can not be a writer if you are not a reader first. ~ Stephen King
  4. Talk To Writer Friends – I do not have many writer friends that I talk to often so I will have to get some new ones on twitter.
  5. Breathe – This is a given.

Get out of your own way

 

Lately, to pass the time I have been thinking a lot about my life thus now and where I want to be in the next five years both personally and professionally. My goal is to be a New York Time’s Best Seller and continue to write books while I change the world with my words. I will still work a day time job as well ( preferably with writing) or helping in some capacity whether it is through research, etc.

 

Want A Paid Writing Gig?


have-a-great=saturday=0515

My fellow writers! I have a GEM for you! I know how we writers want to make a living writing or at least be appreciated for what we have to bring to the table, right? I came across this online paid magazine by networking right here on wordpress. I started to read other’s blogs and BOOM there it was! Yes, I am talking about this banner right here:

This is totally legit! I even signed a contract and met other writers for the magazine as well. This is a new magazine and I must say that I very excited to accept the position of a columnist! My areas of expertise will be for Bookish News and Reviews, Writer’s Life and Fashion & Beauty sections. I could not be more proud to be a part of a great magazine. If you have more questions please do hesitate to email the editor at EDITOR@CONSCIOUSTALKMAG.COM.

My Thoughts:

question-mark

If you look back on my  What’s On Your Writer’s Bucket List?  back in 2013, I stated that I wanted to write for a company. I did not specify what type of company because it could be anything. I have been a contributing writer for a few magazines, but never having my own column(s). This opportunity is so exciting for me. You have no idea. I want all of my writer friends to join in on this venture with me if you are interested and have the time.

Procrastination


monday_01

Happy Monday! I know please do not sound so grim. It will not be that bad today. We are all going to have a good day, right? Right! I wanted to touch on procrastination. We all do it and as we do it, we wish that it was not a thing. For any writer it is hard to keep on track sometimes. We may have something going on in our lives where writing seems impossible. I have been there and I know that life happens.

How do we not procrastinate? Well, I have a couple of things that have helped me. Sometimes we have to do things that are out of our norm or things we would usually do. There will be trial and error, but figuring out what works for you.

  • Keeping A Schedule  – This can work many ways. You can keep a calendar and put different things that you write on different days. For example, on Monday, write a blog, Tuesday, write three chapters of a novel, on Wednesday work on journaling. Having a calendar can be beneficial. But, if you are like me, this does not work. It will work for a few days and then that is it.
  • Writing Daily  –  It’s a little similar to keep a schedule, but not really. Writing daily can be for the same project. If you are writing a novel or a screenplay, you may write every day until the project is finished. This can be more of a habit because on the days you do not write, you will feel weird when you have not written anything.
  • Writing Partner  – I have had many writing partners or buddies through out of writing career. They are there to hold you accountable with your writing. Your partner may suggest sprints or even put you on a writing schedule to make sure that you are keeping busy. I have an accountability partner, her name is Jennifer. She is a great friend. We met in a writing group on Facebook and have been rocking out together since. I have read her work and vice versa.
  • Writing Prompts  – I know we have those days when we are not really into our projects. It is okay. We are human and have those days at times. What works best for me is to still write by utilizing a writing prompt. Sometimes I will blog it or write in my writing journal.

These are just a few things that you can do to not procrastinate. Will you follow these examples and never procrastinate again? Of course not. I will not even follow these all the time, but it is nice to do when you are feeling like you are in a writing slump. Let’s talk in the comments, what do you do to not procrastinate?

Writing Prompt


Sunday

Happy Sunday! Grab your hot beverage and get ready to experience something great with me. I know you maybe saying, ” Krystol, what are you up to now?” I smile devilishly and fold my hands together. Okay, it is not too crazy, but I want all of my writers that are subscribed to my channel, to participate in a writing prompt with me. Let’s get started!

Writing Goal

Writing goals to me are checklists of things that you plan on doing in a current story or with other writing avenues. I have many writing goals and I have to learn to take them one goal at a time instead of trying to do everything at once. This is no bueno! Do not attempt to achieve goals that way. I am still a work in progress. But, with that being said, let us write out our goals. If you are comfortable, write yours in the comments or you can even do it in a journal. I have a writing journal that is specifically for writing ideas and books.

  1. Obtain a full-time writing job – This one may not seem out of the ordinary since I talk about this often on my blog. I want to write full-time for a living whether it is with a company, Magazine, Journalism, or even a TV show. I would even write screenplays for a living if the pay was right. Now, I know that writers mostly get the short end of the stick when it comes to payment whether you are a freelance writer or writing full-time with a company. My advice, stand your ground and try and to get almost what you deserve.
  2. New Your Times Best Sellers List – This has always been a dream of mine. I mean, who does not want NYTBS at the end of their name. I still want to write as many books as I can in order to make that happen.
  3. Agent – I NEED an agent like yesterday! My writing is so diverse ranging from books, screenplays, TV pilots and more. The sky is the limit for what I to do with my writing. I want to get a book deal and sign with a great agent. This will happen.
  4. Big Screen – I want to see my name on the big screen of something that the entire world will see. Just to see written by ” Krystol Diggs” on a major platform is such an honor to me. I can not wait until that goal is achieved. I hope that it happens before I am thirty five years old. Time is ticking.
  5. Coach – I would love to be a writing coach for new writers. This means setting up their goals for themselves, giving advice, and even counseling them to excel with their writing.

I ask all the writers who are reading this and not just liking this blog, what are your writing goals?

Why Is Developing Your Story Hard?


Writing Exercise

Writers, if this picture above is you when developing a story, I totally get it! It does not matter if you have an outline, are going by Act’s or just writing from an idea, the development can always be a tricky. But, there are somethings to consider when getting into the ” meat” of your story.

  1. Stretching It Out  –  Often times we are writers are so good with showing our story instead of telling. When you show or just explain what it going on, that makes it hard for the reader to really visualize what you are saying. For example, ” Mike went to the store and got us a milkshake. I told him to get me a strawberry milkshake and he got a chocolate one while I waited for him.” This is an example of telling. Now, let’s tell that same story.

Mike and I sat at the booth before he headed up  to the counter. There were other families and couples enjoying their food, milkshakes and ice-creams.

” Sam, what kind of milkshake do you want?”  Mike asked.

Still looking back and forth and the menu, I finally decided.

” Mm, I think that I am going to have the strawberry milkshake.”

Mike smiles.

” That sounds good, Sam, but I am going to get a chocolate one.”

Mike looks at the long line as he turns around and stares at the crowd.

” I am going to wait until the line dies down, okay?”

” Whatever works.”

Waiting for the line to go down, Mike and I still talked about our classes as we sipped on ice water that was brought to us.

Okay, now do you see the different between showing and telling? This has been stretched out and embellished. We are able to see exactly what is going on ( well at least we can picture it.”  This also gives you a longer word count as well!

2. Character Development  – This is a problem area for some writers. When it comes to developing your characters, you really have to make them a real person. Check out my blog on character profiles. In my opinion when writing any book, I feel that all main characters need to have a background story. Where did they come from? What was their childhood like? How were their parents? Sometimes you can even take it a step further and tap into their parents background. This can give the reader some justification as to how or why main character is the way that he/she is. This can be come by doing a ” flashback”  or having another person’s point of view come present and they are telling their side.

3.  Lastly, another reason that your story can be hard when it comes to development is because it is all over the place. You have so many characters and everyone is doing their own thing. Whether you have an outline to look at or not, you can just be writing to write. This is called freelancing. Just jotting things down and not have a place for them to call home. When this happens, take a step back and get some clarity. Ask yourself, ” What story am I really trying to tell?” Your story can be so good that it starts to tell itself and shift in directions that it is not on an outline. This is why I do not use an outline. I let the story speak for itself. But, I know that there are some writers who MUST  have a guide or something to look off of. Even if your mind is going a mile a minute, just remember that every story has a beginning, middle and an end.

Thanks so much for taking the time out to read this blog for today. I hope that it helps you with your development of your story. Now, GO WRITE! That is an order.

My Writing Style (MSH Blog Tour)

 

Having A Good Writing Flow


Happy Monday

Happy Monday!

I know this day is gruesome for some, but try to keep an open mind. For those writers who are doing Camp NanoWriMo, how is it going? As for me, I just hit a little over 27k and I am loving the progress of this story. It is really coming along nicely. My total word count goal is 70k so please keep my fingers and mind in your prayers.

It is imperative to have a good writing flow once you are finish with your outline. This can be creating an awesome schedule, writing with a writing buddy or participating in sprints. Sprints are when you write for a certain amount of time by yourself or with others. They are really fun. At times the flow of writing can be so good that you forget to eat meals or even do other things that were on your to-do list. Yesterday, I started to write in the afternoon and I did that for 2 hours then took a break. Then I started back up at about 9pm until 11 and I wrote 4000 words! I surpassed my goal by more than half. I was so proud of myself.

Having a good writing flow is important, but allow yourself some time to take a break. The last thing that you want to do is suffer from burnout. Burnout to writing is like unemployment to workers. It does not mix at all. There are some people that are mood writers and like to write when they feel lead to. I used to be like that, but since I want to write for a living like Stephen King, I have to  write and read daily. Reading is just as important when you are taking a break from your writing flow. It keeps you fresh and innovative in my opinion. Whether you are writing every day or sporadically, enjoy the writing flow and let it take your story to another level.

Writing Update


Happy Friday!

Friday Reading

Happy Friday! I wanted to take the time to tell you guys how my writing has been. I must say that I am LOVING it! This new book is a great one and I am really enjoying the writing process for this book. The pace of my writing is slow and steady, but I am getting my daily word count in which is amazing. As stated in yesterday’s blog, this book will really put me on the map. I strongly believe that.

Here Is My Daily Process

female-student-writer-iclip

I have a desk in my living room, but everything else is on it. Papers, binders, books, you name it. Right now, my bedroom has made the best desk as of late. It is comfortable and I love being in the relaxed state when it is time to write. So, since starting Camp NanoWriMo, I have been writing my best words at night between 9-10pm all the way until 11pm. My eyes start to get heavy and it is time to turn the keys off. My average a day has been between 2-3k. My goal is to write at least 3,500 words a day to finish on time. I started a week late. My goal is to write 70,000 words. To some this may not be a lot, but for me, this is the LONGEST book that I have written in my writing career. My music choices are Evanescence, Bruno Mars, R. Kelly and DeBarge. I do take breaks to eat and get some snacks.  My snack choices are Veggie straws, water and Gatorade. Who knew? Today, I am trying something new and will attempt to write all day today. Wish me luck!

 Tips That Will Help You Along The Way

tipsWriting

  1. Time Management – Whether you are writing during the day or night, make sure you have a scheduled time of when you can write. If you can a write an hour a day go for it. If you are feeling the story and write longer than that, that is great too.
  2. Writing Partner – If you have a writer friend to write with you during your time, it will make things more exciting, especially on days when you feel that you can not write anything. This are called writing sprints. There are many Facebook writing groups who do sprints daily for an hour or two hours.
  3. Writing Goals – Always set a word count goal for the times that you are writing. When you have uninterrupted time ( meaning no scrolling through Facebook or YouTube, just straight writing), you will be able to calculate how many words you can write in that time span.
  4. Writing Mentor – It may be hard to find this. A writing mentor is someone who will guide you and always give you the inspiration to write. My mentor  Deatri 5 Crafty Top Writing Books ( see her book, ” How To Become A Successful Author). She always encourages me to write in a way that it is beneficial to me. Deatri has over 15 titles out and has tapped into TV and Screenwriting with my assistance :).
  5. Outline – I know this is weird for outline to be number five, but ” read” me out, lol. Have an outline for where you want your current project to go. What do I mean? Well, make an outline of your writing progress once the book is completed. So you may have editing, ( depending on what kind you choose whether it is line edit, developmental edit, etc), querying letters, proof reading and more. Make a plan on what you plan to do once the writing portion is completed. After all, writing the book is the easy part. It is what comes next that is a challenging, yet rewarding task.

Can You Be Your Own Support System?


Happy Thursday!

Thursday

We go through many things in our life where we need and desire support from others. But, when we are able to gain that support from our friends and loved ones, are we able to seek it in ourselves? Yes! It is called determination and motivation. Now, with my writing career, I am sure that there are MANY people who disapprove of my career path. In turn that is okay, but when you have people like that, it is time to rid of toxic waste.  In my opinion being a writer is a lonely world until your readers support your work. In my time as a writer, I have seen some great reviews and even some bad ones. I took a step back and re-assessed the bad reviews. I take into consideration what the readers have to say. My work may look great in my eyes, but the readers are the real judges.

Dream-Big

With that being said, I motivate myself often to make the next book or writing endeavor better than the last one. I wanted to make sure that my words were relatable and valid for anyone who even cracked a page or clicked to see my work. My motivation and determination for myself has to be strong because everyone does not see my dream the way that I do. Sure, you will get discouraged when rejection happens, but use that rejection for fuel to continue to work on your craft and be the best writer that you can be. One of my goals this year was to keep my blog updated and relevant. There were times where I did not wrote for months and I saw the change in that versus now to me writing on a daily basis. I appreciate your support with my blog.  You liking my blog posts makes me feel good about the posts that I will continue to have.  A year ago, I did a vision board with my previous position and I look at it every day now just to motivate and remind myself that I am destined for greatness. Now, I feel like I have to keep my work to myself in a way and not tell everyone my dreams because I will not get the support that I give myself.

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I do have a journal with goals in it. I never look at it. In my mind, I know what I achieve to do. Every time I achieve a new thing, I go back to my goals journal and see how close or far I came to achieving them. Thus far, I am on track because I am motivating myself. Currently, I am motivated and determined to finish this novel for NanoWriMo way before the end of the July. I really believe that this book is going to put me on the map. Never allow anyone to tell you that you can not or deter you from your dreams.

Jobs For Writers


Writers block

Being a writer is hard work. There are many people will believe in your gift, and others will laugh in your face. I’m sure writers like Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were laughed at, but look at them now! I would LOVE to be on their level one day and even write for Huffington Post or a great company like it. Speaking of writing for a living, I have been applying to several writing jobs.  Now, I’ve worked as a writer before, but I am looking to do so on a full-time basis. If you read my plea for wanting a career as a writer, I was speaking for us all when I said we wanted to make it through our words. There are many jobs out there that writers can do. To name a few:

  • Content Writer
  • Staff Writer
  • Freelance Writer
  • Creative Writer
  • Fiction Writer
  • Screenwriter
  • TV Writer
  • Contributing Writer
  • Blog Writer
  • Journalist
  • Copywriter
  • Technical Writer

These are jobs that I have applied for in various companies. Let’s hope one of these turns out to be a winner. But, if not, I am still writing. My suggestion would be to ALWAYS write. The more you write, the better you will be become in your craft. But, there is one thing a writer should always do as well. That is to:

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A great writer is also a great reader. I LOVE to read as you know if you’ve been seeing my  Goodreads page, and book reviews. I watched a few interviews with Stephen King and he said that he reads all the time. It helps strengthen his writing.

stephen-king-writing-tips

Writing is already a job within itself, but sometimes we have to get day jobs, too. I used to work full-time, go to school and STILL would write before I went to bed. Lately, I have been writing a lot of samples for the writing jobs that I have been applying for. My point is that writing should always be precedent if it’s something you plan on doing for the rest of your life. As for myself I want to be like Stephen King and just write for a living. In time I have no doubt that it won’t happen. I am going to re-read On Writing by Stephen King just to get inspiration to keep going. This journey can be a lonely road, but I will not stop climbing. If you want a writing job and to continue your own projects, keep striving. Don’t let or allow anyone to tell you differently.