Well, it's official! I am taking more and more steps towards starting and finishing my first novel!
And my next step has been outlining!
I've been working on this outline for a bit, actually. I wrote out a bit by hand, using my series bible and a BUNCH of notes that I've got on my characters, setting, and how I want to lay out the story. I've been doing a thing that Chris Fox calls "plot gardening" where I have had the story idea in my mind for weeks and months and I have slowly started putting together exactly what I need for the outline.
So, how am I outlining?
Well, I've actually tried a few different ways of outlining how I want my story to go. And the one that I have connected with the most is a variation of the "save the cat" version of outlining!
Its called Romancing the Beats!
Now, I picked this book up years ago when I first stared my writing journey and I used it many, many times when coming up for outlines for short stories and novellas, and it was a real eye opener when it came to putting together a fun, intriguing story.
And now that it is finally time to start writing Sydney's book, I am going back to these fun, interesting, intriguing story beats!
But this time, I have another tool in my arsenal.
Yes, I finally read Save the Cat Writes a Novel! It came highly recommended, and let me tell you, reading both of these books on outlining and story beats has really opened my eyes to the art of storytelling. I feel like I have a stronger, more well-rounded view of the craft of writing going into Sydney's story, and I hope that this new view eventually reflects itself in the novel itself.
I'm going to start a goal of beginning Sydney's story on September 1st, so I've got two more days to finish my outline before the writing part begins! I am so excited to finally see Sydney's love story unfold, and I cannot wait to write a little bit of magic into every page!
I dont know about you, but writing on a keyboard can get soooo tedious!
Now, I don't mean to complain! Please don't get me wrong! But every now and then, sitting down to a keyboard and putting my fingers to work just feels... It feels tiring.
So, I like to change things up with a little bit of dictation!
I actually cut my writing teeth on dictation when I was commuting for three hours a day at my old day job. I would start my morning with a coffee and come toast, hop in the car with my ear buds in, and I would dictate into Apple Notes all the way to work. And on the way home, I'd be doing the same thing, working on my stories through Apple's built in system.
And that's exactly how I've been working on my first novel!
Starting yesterday, I began officially officially OFFICIALLY writing my novel! And I started with dictation!
It's slow goings, honestly. Dictation can be a little tedious at times, since I am the type of person who will speak out all of my punctuation correctly. And sometimes, I feel like dictation does not work for me because it will pull me out of the moment within my story.
But other times, like yesterday, I get into the best grooves when I start speaking my story out loud! I hopped in the car and drove, enjoying the open road and a few snacks while I started telling the story of Sydney, a young woman who moves to a myserious, magical town called Thistlewood!
I will tell you right now, though, this novel will not be written completely in dictation. There is something great about lighting a candle, making a cup of tea, and losing yourself in a story with fingers to keyboard. But every now and then, I do love taking those drives and writing as I go. It breaks up the days and days of sitting in front of a screen.
If you're looking to try dictation, I'd say to give it a go! Start slow and try your best to enunciate as best you can. When I use the built in dictation in Apple Notes, I have to speak my punctuation, like "period", "comma," and "new paragraph," so you may have to keep that in mind. It's a big hurdle for some, but I found it easy to transition over to that mindset. And practice makes perfect! I've been dictating for a few years, writing my short stores and things while focusing on the road in front of me.
If you give dictation a shot, let me know!
And for now, the big news is that I've officially started writing!
Alright, everyone! Today we're gonna chat about how I am starting up a brand new writing project and how things are going so far!
You guys, I have never been more excited to start a writing project in my entire life!
I have written other things before, mostly poems and short stories/novellas under pen names and pseudonyms. Lots of fan fiction, too. And I mean LOTS!
But I've finally decided to get out on my own and write the stories that have been in my head for the longest time. I can see my main characters when I close my eyes. I have their stories planned out. And it's finally time to put pen to paper!
And I am starting with making a series bible!
A few weeks ago, I learned all about series bibles (also known as series binders) from some lovely people on YouTube. A series bible is basically a big folder/notebook that you fill with all the information about your story. Settings, details, descriptions, character information (down to the baristas and the shop keepers in your little town!), and even a place to brain dump information. And the first thing I did was grab a mask and set off to the store!
For now, I'm working with a simple spiral notebook with little tags on the ends, but I'm already expecting to move to a virtual binder before this is all over!
Right now, I am working on my first idea for a romance series... A witchy paranormal romance series, of course! I've got my ideas for my main characters and who they are and what the love... And I am already completely in love with my first main character, Sydney. She's already someone that I adore and someone that I would want to have as a best friend.
So, my plan is to start working on the series next month. I want to give myself plenty of time on it, letting myself write every day and give myself plenty of time to edit, rewrite, and all that good stuff.
Next time we talk, I'll be putting my fingers to the keyboard on the project! But for now, its pen and paper and I'm jotting down everything I can possibly think of to make Sydney's world full and real and exploding with magic and love!
Just me, a paranormal romance author with big dreams and even bigger crushes!