• Creating a Novel Timeline

    novel timeline

    The outlines I’ve already created for my WIP (main character, main plot, supporting leads, and subplots), focus very heavily on the what, but don’t offer any clarity as to when things will happen. We need a novel timeline. What’s a novel timeline? Well, dear friends, it is one of the most useful drafting tools I’ve ever created. It is the document that details when each major and minor event will occur. This isn’t just useful for ensuring all of those events make it into the book, it’s useful in ensuring that there is progress/development, in some shape or form, in every chapter. Think about some of your favourite books. Why…

  • Character Outline: Supporting Leads

    supporting lead

    Supporting characters, particularly the ones in our protagonist’s immediate circle, have a significant impact on the plot of a book and on our main character’s growth. Have you ever heard the saying, you are who you spend time with? This is true, and so it goes without saying that we need to know exactly who our protagonist spends most of their time with. Who are the supporting leads? Just as we looked at making our protagonist three-dimensional, we need to ensure our supporting leads are three-dimensional. That being said, we don’t necessarily need to know as much about them as we do our protag, because we don’t ever get inside…

  • Plot Outline: The Main Plot

    plot outline

    Alright, so we know that a compelling protagonist is a necessary medium through which to tell a story. Readers need someone to root for; someone to go on the journey of the novel with that they actually care about. So, now that we’ve got that protagonist, we need to outline the main plot of the story they find themselves in the middle of. A novel-length project is a big undertaking, so how can we make sure everything makes sense? A plot outline is an invaluable resource in ensuring two things: a) there’s actually something happening in your book, and b) the plot follows a logical, engaging flow. A main plot…

  • Character Outline: The Protagonist

    character outline

    So, here’s the thing. If you’ve been hanging out and reading my blog posts for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been writing, editing, rewriting, and rewriting some more a YA contemporary fantasy for the last few years (it was even a part of my Masters thesis!). Well, dear readers, I am both relieved and weirded out to share that I have written “The End” on that manuscript and it is now floating out there in the world, hoping to find a home. If you’ve ever been here before, you’ll understand how I’m feeling right about now. That story and those characters have been in my head, a part of…