Posts in Your Writing Process
Finding the Novel Outlining Process that Works for You

There’s nothing more nebulous than trying to produce a decent outline for your novel.

With dozens of outlining methods to choose from, all of which seem to work well for some writers but not for others, defining the outlining process that works best for you and your stories can be more than a little intimidating. How much detail do you need to include? Is outlining really necessary? Isn't there a better way? 

Writers, it's time to cut through the chaos and get down to business. Let's find the outlining method that works best for each of us in today's breakdown!

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Is a Daily Writing Routine Right for You?

“Real writers write every day.”

Unfortunately, that’s a sentiment you’ll often hear in the writing world, and for a time, I subscribed to it myself. And while I still maintain a daily writing routine, I regret the days I spent telling other writers they should to do the same.

Every writer’s process is unique, and what works for one—or even many—isn’t guaranteed to work for you. And that’s okay! The important thing is to find the writing techniques that work best with your time, your skills, and your stories. Unsure if a daily writing routine would be a good fit for your writing process?

Allow me to share the pros and cons of my own experience with a daily writing routine today!

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My Top 5 Tools to Get You Writing

Ultimately, it's the writing that makes the writer, but that doesn't mean you can't set yourself up for success.

Over the years, I've discovered that the best way to have great productivity and an easy-to-manage writing process is to set myself up with good, reliable writing tools. It may seem odd to some that I use more than just a Word document to get the job done, but I'm a firm believer in not settling.

If there are tools out there that can make my writing process simpler, faster, and more inspired, then I want them—and I'd encourage you to get them a shot as well. Today, I'm sharing my top 10 tools that will get you writing like the #writeboss you long to be. Shall we dive in?

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How to Rock NaNoWriMo This November

This article was nearly titled “How to Win NaNoWriMo.”

But life isn’t all about winning. It’s about doing things you enjoy, challenging yourself to grow, and putting forth your very best effort, no matter the end result. So let’s toss the idea of "winning" NaNoWriMo out the window and focus on having our very best NaNoWriMo experiences, shall we? 

But what is NaNoWriMo, you ask? Ah, yes. Ahem. That would be a good place to start, wouldn’t it?

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Exploring The Five Layers of Pre-Writing (with guest writer Karah Rachelle)

Pre-writing is one of my favorites parts of the writing process.

I know that statement may have some of you grimacing in revulsion, but hey! We're all different. And that's the beautiful thing about being a writer. There is no one right way to write, which means you have all the freedom in the world to figure out a writing process that works for you.

I've shared a bit about my own pre-writing process in the past (as well as through The Pre-Write Project), but my process certainly isn't the only process.

Today, I'm so excited to welcome author Karah Rachelle to the blog. I loved getting to explore her pre-writing process and gleaning a few tips & tricks that I plan to add to my own process, and I can't wait for you to do the same!

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How and Why You Should Create a Writer's Mission Statement

Helloooo, friends!

As you may or may not know, every week (on Wednesdays at 9pm Eastern, to be exact) I host a Twitter chat called #StorySocial. I co-founded this chat back in June 2014 with my friend and fellow author Jenny Bravo, and it’s been an amazing way to connect with writers worldwide ever since.

The #StorySocial crowd has become a tight-knit group over the years, but we also ALWAYS love having new writers join us (hint, hint!). But I digress…

In all our weeks of chatting, I don't think we've ever had such strong feedback as we had a few weeks ago, when our chat topic for the night was Writers’ Mission Statements. Several chatters even went so far as to call it their favorite chat yet.

It was truly an incredible and inspiring hour of conversation!

Unfortunately, the software I use to create our weekly chat recaps glitches every time I try to create a recap for that night’s chat. But the Writer's Mission Statement chat was simply too good not to recap!

So instead of skipping it, I decided to write up a mini-article explaining how you, too, can create a Writer’s Mission Statement to call your own! 

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Four Steps to Overcome Writing Procrastination

I've met a variety of writers since joining the online writing community, and I have to admit: I'm mad jealous of those who look forward to every single writing session with reckless abandon.

I am not one of those writers. And I know I'm not alone.

For a number of us, writing isn't always the most joy-inducing task in the world, no matter how much we love our stories. For any number of reasons, sitting down to write can be difficult for some of us. And oftentimes, procrastination wins out.

The good news? Writing procrastination is completely normal.

You should never treat yourself like less of a writer because you lack the motivation to tackle your next writing session. Like I said, there are a number of reasons why procrastination may plague you.

We're going to talk about each of these reasons, as well as how to stop procrastination in its tracks, in today's article. So let's get going!

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Breaking Down Five Keys to Writing Success


We all want to be successful, don't we?

We want to be happy in our work. To be motivated and inspired, always ready to write. We want to find as much time to focus on our stories as we can, and we want others to love and support our stories when we share them. And let's be real: most of us want to make a bit of cash by publishing our books, too.

Success. It's a shiny concept, but also hard-earned. And because success often seems so distant and unattainable, the desire for it can lead us to place undue pressure on ourselves.

If I only worked hard enough, I could…
If I only wrote like that author, I might…
Am I even good enough to be a writer?

The pressure to succeed can easily lend itself to doubts, fears, and a whole lot of stress. It can even make writing feel like a chore, rather than the hobby we once enjoyed—which is of course no bueno. You know what I mean? Here's the good news: You can find writing success. And you can do it without all of those nasty side effects, too. But how?

Let's dive into today's five keys to writing success!

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How to Rediscover Your Love for Writing

Confession Time: I don’t have it all together. Not by far.

The last few months of my life have been chaos.

It began with holiday prep around late November; moved into Christmas craziness, an extended family visit, and the epic project that was rebranding She’s Novel into Well-Storied; and ended with me waking up in February to realize that my writing life had dwindled to nearly non-existent.

Can I get a "whoops!"?

Now, I do keep a daily writing habit (you can read about why I do so here), and I was able to maintain this ritual over these past few months, writing for just a few brief moments each day. 

But what I didn’t realize until February was just how much I had fallen out of love with writing…or rather, just how much I had lost touch with the writing that I love. There truly hasn’t been a day in months when I've sat down to work with any measure of joy or motivation. 

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How to Regain Focus When Plot Bunnies Attack

We all face doubts and distractions from time to time.

But one of the most common distractions writers face is by far those pesky plot bunnies, a.k.a story ideas that pop up when you're already working on a project. And of course, those story ideas lead you down bunny trails of possibility.

Which is why plot bunnies are both a blessing and a curse.

To know that your imagination is fired up and ready to go is always wonderful, but when too many story ideas plague you, it can be difficult to stay focused on your current project. Your brain idealizes your new plot bunnies, making your drafting and editing start to seem pretty boring.

But obviously we can't chase down every plot idea that comes our way. We'd never finish writing a book! So what do we do to overcome the plot bunny overwhelm and get back to writing?

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How to Maximize Your Writing Time Like a Pro (tips + tricks for every writer)

“Ugh, another post about managing my time.”

I know. I get it. No matter where you look, you're bound to find a blog post, video, ebook, etc. that's all too eager to sell you the NUMBER ONE TIME TIP THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER. You know, the tip that will magically give you more hours in the day, make you more motivated, and turn you into a writing machine. 

Yeah... 

I don’t have that tip, but mostly because that tip doesn’t exist. I’ve certainly been a proponent of certain time-saving and time-maximizing tips in the past (Have I told you how much I love my daily writing routine?), but let’s get this straight: there is no magical time-saving tip that will work for every human being. 

Time is constant. Life is not. 

Our lives are ever changing, and we're all different anyhow. That means certain tips, techniques, and tutorials are going to work brilliantly for some people while dragging others down. 

That’s why this post is not going to try to convince you of some perfect ~magical~ technique for making the most of your time. I do, however, believe that recognizing, managing, and maximizing your time as a writer is possible, which is exactly what this post is all about. 

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How to Read Critically and Become a Better Author!

Hellooo there, friend!

If you've been hanging around the writersphere for a while now, you've probably heard the phrase "read critically" tossed around a time or two. Or, ya know, twelve. 

In fact, it's one of the topics I'm most often asked about in emails and tweets and such, probably because I mention just how important reading (and reading critically) is whenever I get the chance. And I'm not the only one who thinks so... 

Check out these quotes from famous authors:

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3 Ways to Use Scene Cards to Help You Write Your Novel

Have you ever used scene cards to help you write your novel? Well, today I'm going to teach you how!

So, scene cards. What are they, why are they helpful, and how can you use them to your best advantage? Let's get started with a definition:
 

Scene cards are physical cards, usually small (think: index size), that are used to summarize individual chapters or scenes from your manuscript. One card is used per scene or chapter.
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Exploring The Four Benefits of Pre-Writing (with guest writer Kaitlin Hillerich)

Before you even sit down to type the first word of your novel, there’s some groundwork you need to do first.

You need to spend time developing your characters, world, plot, and doing lots (and lots) of research. This is known as the pre-writing stage, and it’s something we don’t talk about often enough as writers.

“But I don’t want to do more work!” you lament.

Shhhh. Just accept it now and it will make your life loads easier. Trust me. What I’ve discovered after several novels and years of writing is that the time you invest in your pre-writing stage will determine how smoothly the writing process goes. And you want it to go as smoothly as possible, right? (Hint: just say yes).

I feel like a lot of new writers think that you come up with some ideas and then just dive right into your story. I mean, sure, you could do it that way. But you’re just making things harder on yourself.

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A Simple Two-Step Method For Finishing Your Novel

I don’t have a strong internal drive, even to do the things I want to do.

I often struggle with demotivation and frequently rely upon a plethora of productivity techniques to keep me moving toward my goals and dreams, especially those related to my writing. If you find yourself in a similar place, allow me to share with you the simple two-step method that helps me make long-term progress through daily and weekly actions.

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How to Research Your Novel Effectively

Whether you love it or hate it, researching a novel is no easy task.

The good news is that the research process doesn't have to be a pluck-out-your-own-eyeballs kind of event. By getting savvy in our research techniques and creating an epic plan of attack, we can say goodbye to the endless web-surfing cycle of doom and hello to focused, intentional, and highly effective research — and it doesn't even have to be a bore!

But where in the world do we begin in tackling such a task? And how can we apply the research we've done to our stories? I'll break down everything you need to know in today's article, writer.

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Pantsers vs. Plotters (and other literary lingo you should know)

Do you remember the game show Lingo?

Contestants were given the beginning letter of a five-letter mystery word and five chances to correctly guess and spell the mystery word. If they guessed correctly, they earned points and got to select two numbered balls to help them cover up their Bingo board.

Whichever team had the most points at the end of the show got to go on to a bonus Lingo round where they could win thousands of dollars.

I'm not really sure what any of that has to do with Literary Lingo, but I was feeling a bit nostalgic for my childhood. Although, I do wish I could win some money for all of the writing terms I've learned over the past several years. Seriously, it's like an entirely different language that comes with a steep learning curve.

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11 Tips for Creating a Writing Routine (that will leave you feeling free!)

"Oh, you write books? That's a lot of work. How do you find the time?"

*insert eye roll here*

If you are anything like me, you absolutely loathe this question. It's not necessarily annoying. The thing is, you simply don't have the time! With your job, school, kids, sleep, grocery shopping, etc., it can be insanely hard to sneak in a few minutes to say hello to your imaginary friends.

And rightfully so! We are writers, but we also have crazy hectic, normal-people lives to deal with, too.

I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel guilty for not writing all day, every day. After all, writing is my passion. I should want to do it all the time, right? But I also don't want to be chained to my desk 24/7. I miss that yellow orb thing that hangs in the sky!

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