So how do you progress as a writer over a long summer? I have advice, most of which I even managed to follow. Tell me about your successes.
If you have the time and funds, writers conferences offer several benefits. Like any industry, networking can open doors and give you insight that someone else worked to acquire. Join forces to hear about local resources, editors who are most likely to enjoy your work, and to share an attitude of success.
While this may be a painful realization for writers, who are temperamentally inclined toward scribbling in isolation (fiction writing partnerships are rare and beautiful things) other people have skills, knowledge, and judgments we need to hear. Writing conferences let you become more comfortable in the local writing community. Hear gossip and who’s-who. These insights are difficult to get any other way, no matter how much you use the internet.
Plus, once you get to know people, it can be fun. And you get to be ‘a writer’ for the whole time, with no other hats to wear and no one questioning the validity of that choice. That, my friends, is worth a lot.
I added to the writers conferences I’d attended by going to Vancouver, Portland for the Cascade Writers Workshop. I’d registered late when I heard they were opening up some new spots (Twitter was good for something after all!) and attended the 4-day critiquing workshop.
Submit Short Stories:
If you never send your stories to markets, they can never accept them. Keep submitting. Remember to use Duotrope to find the right publishers and check my old article on publishing short stories.
This summer I met someone who had 22 stories out for consideration and realized that I’m a slow-poke.
I was fortunate to have another story accepted with a small press. They moved very fast, once the story was accepted, and the book Spiders is already available in ebook and print. My story was written at the Rainforest Writers Village:
Genetically-modified spiders are at the mercy of university researchers who milk their silk and venom. The tables are soon turned. Have you ever known a merciful spider?
Yes, it’s horror with some sci-fi flavoring.
Join a Critique Group
Critique groups serve several purposes. They let you put your writing in front of other articulate people who care about writing as a craft. The comments aren’t always right, but you’ll get to hear from several points of view. It also forces you to produce on schedule.
I recently learned about two local writing groups and am going to see which fits me best. Adding these meetings into my schedule isn’t easy, but I think it’s necessary.
Write and Edit
Consensus agrees that the best thing you can do as a writer is persevere and practice. Set a schedule for yourself. Keep a minimum word count per day. Sit down and write every day. Edit. Submit.
Do I believe that all those saying that are following through? I do not. I know this summer put me behind schedule, but at least I have a schedule and know where to pick up again.
Now, it’s time for me to get back to the 1,200 comment edits left on my newest novel.
Tags: Short Story
Genetically-modified spiders are at the mercy of university researchers who milk their silk and venom. The tables are soon turned. Have you ever known a merciful spider?
Yes, it’s horror with some sci-fi flavoring and has received some decent reviews.
After creating my mega-sized blog post about Baycon, you might not think there’s anything left to say. I even sent my mother to the post when she asked how my trip went. However, in the days since the convention I’ve realized a few more things need to be added.
The Wickeds seems to be selling well. Baycon was my first chance to hold a print copy. I know the editor worked very hard on all the stories and to format the book for print. Somehow, my story lost italics. Since it started out as the content winning entry in a podcast, italics should indicate sound effects and character thoughts. If you are buying the book for my story, it may make sense to wait for the eBook version.
There are also a couple other blogs posts about Baycon worth visiting. I must mention the blog of Philip E. Carroll, because I feel such gratitude for his kind words. In part, he says about me, “I found out that she was not only a brilliantly clever writer, she is wonderfully human, approachable and interesting.” Anyone who reads this has my permission to plaster that all over the internet. I think it shows Philip’s generosity of spirit.
I spent much of Baycon in the company of Emerian Rich, who first convinced me to attend Baycon. Her extensive blog, written around the tweets she made during the course of the long weekend, is entertaining and thorough.
If you decide to purchase a copy of The Wickeds, despite my warning about the formatting for my story, then I suggest you let me know. I’d gladly send you a book plate autograph.
I had a great weekend attending panels in sunny California!
The blog is in two sections, first is my personal experience. Panel names are in bold for easy skimming. Beneath that, section two contains general tips for conventions.
All my panels went spectacularly.
My first panel was the Character Slam Book. Emerian Rich led the class, gave away free notebooks and worksheets, and talked about creating consistent character profiles and location layouts for authors and RPGers. We had several dozen participants, who seemed very engaged. Like any good co-host, I added my two cents and asked Emerian leading questions.
A big thanks to the men and women who danced with me in the Regency Dance. You were all very kind–even if I did learn that I don’t know how to Viennese Waltz. It was completely different from the waltz I had learned.
At the Writers Workshop all three submissions had potential and I wish the writers well. I don’t think we were too rough on them. I remember being on the other side of the table two years ago.
I jumped into the Hunger Games BOF only a few minutes late, despite being double booked, and the conversation was lively. We even had time to expand the talk into the question of children in movies, violence, and the upcoming Ender’s Game film.
The Post-Apocalypse Fiction panel was packed. Even after we stole chairs from other rooms people sat on the floor. The other panelists were fascinating in their knowledge of survival techniques. I took away a nice list of fiction to check out in the future.
I gave a Sci-Fi Reading of Pirate. We had a another great turnout, and other than the door resisting our efforts to keep it closed, the reading was ideal. I even got some nice laughs. However, my performance was nothing compared to author Cliff Winnig. He acted out his story with photos, accents, and the largest leap I have seen an author make. Check him out for a reading if you get a chance.
While I was at the Con I had the pleasure of meeting one of the editors of the magazine that published “Pirate”, Philip Carroll. I’m not used to meeting people from the internet in real life, so that’s one great reason to attend these conventions.
This completed my marathon schedule for Saturday. I squeezed in dinner, games in the game room, and got to relax during the Masquerade, Klingon Slave Auction (people are so brave!), and a portion of the Burlesque.
The following day, Sunday, started with me sitting on the pool deck to finally get some California sun. I found that I didn’t want to watch the Iron Editors tear into everyone’s submissions just before giving a reading myself.
Fortunately, the reading I did for the Horror Reading Panel went well. The other readers were also fabulous, including Emerian Rich, Laurel Ann Hill and Jay Hartlove. And a big thank-you to the listener who came up and bought a book from me in person.
That afternoon on the pool deck more than 15 people joined me to talk about the genius of Joss Whedon at the Whedon BOF. I enjoyed this panel the most. Maybe because it was so relaxed, or perhaps I just liked getting to organize things, but we found a shady spot with couches and chairs and discussed absolutely all of Joss’s works. People’s passions were amazing. And where else could I share all the minutia I’ve learned about Joss’s works and the recent Avengers movie?
A friend of mine that I only see when life sends me to California found an hour to steal me away from the hotel. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have left the hotel all weekend.
The Wicked Women Writers panel had some women who seemed seriously interested in the group. I gave my grittiest reading. Emz recorded the panels, so hopefully audio will be available soon. To my surprise, I found that I was the most soft-spoken of our bunch. I don’t think of myself as quiet, but waveforms don’t lie. Thanks to the other ladies for letting me sit in front of the mic.
I have to admit, I snuck out of the Horror Addicts panel to visit the Regency Dancing, but I was there for the beginning and end. We sold several copies of The Wickeds and I signed them happily. IMPORTANT NOTE: This weekend was my first opportunity to hold a print copy, and I discovered my short story had been printed without italics. Since it originated as a podcast with both sound effects and thoughts, this makes a big difference. I’ve notified the publisher.
I danced until midnight, went to bed, got up again and wandered the halls in the wee hours. I hadn’t had an appetite all day, so I hadn’t eaten much, but I figured I needed to find some food. I found a friend, no food, and he seemed busy so I returned to my room in failure. Ate a bag of chips from the airplane, then fought mild stomach ache the rest of the night. I’d picked up some weak bug, I guess.
I didn’t have time for anything con related. I checked out and flew home.
The Con Experience – Con Tips
If you’re a writer unfamiliar with conventions, check out other blogs that give general tips on using your time and planning. Here are my tips that may not be listed elsewhere:
If you have books you want to sell, carry copies with you. Remember to also have change.
Even better, go into the dealer room and ask a likely bookseller if they’ll sell copies on their table. We left our books with the wonderful people of Basement Books on Friday, and picked up unsold copies on Monday morning.
Be friendly. People at the conventions are there to be social. And they love the same things you do, so conversations shouldn’t be hard. I discovered familiar names and faces.
I’ve also heard a lot of authors say just sitting in the bar lets them mingle. I haven’t mastered that yet. Perhaps I don’t know enough people, or maybe they think it will give the wrong impression if they come up to a woman sitting alone at the bar. If I’m sitting at the bar at a Con, I’m inviting you to join me. (Unless you want to tell me that, “sometimes wedding rings are just for show.” But that guy was with another of the conventions at the hotel and not typical.)
Don’t hang out in your hotel room. Nothing new will happen there. Go to the green room, or hospitality room, or party floor, or whereever else you can go to relax. Even if you’re not used to crowds. I’m working on this one.
If you can afford it, call it a vacation and get a hotel room, whether or not you’re local. You’ll enjoy the convention more. As an author, you won’t have to carry all your books with you all the time, either. You can restock from the room.
Wash your hands, lots, and carry hand sanitizer. You’ll spend a portion of your day shaking hands as you meet people, and when people come from all over, so do germs.
I probably learned more than that, but this post is already too long for a casual reader. Let me just thank anyone who attended one of my panels, or said a kind word to me in passing or at the Horror Addicts table. I hope to go again next year.
I may have more conventions in the future, and likely several closer to my home in Seattle. I’ll let you know where I’ll appear next.
Finally, if you’d like more photos from the convention check out my author’s page on Facebook, or if you’re interested in Baycon follow their Facebook group. And if you found me through Baycon please, please say hello. Leave a comment here, on Facebook, or on twitter for @hroulo!
Tags: Baycon 2012, Character Slam Book, Cliff Winnig, Convention tips for writers, Emerian Rich, H.E. Roulo, Horror Addicts, Jay Hartlove, Joss Whedon, Laurel Ann Hill, Philip Carroll, Regency Dance, The Hunger Games, Wicked Women Writer's
I promised you a listing of my Baycon schedule. I will be a guest participating in quite a few panels and readings. Official panel descriptions are in blue, and I’ve added my own notes after.
Friday May 25, 2012
Character Slam Book Hands-on Activity (Camino Real at 5:30 PM)
Emerian Rich will lead a class that will benefit new and seasoned writers along with anyone who just wants to dream up characters. This can even apply to gamers.
I’ll be the lovely assistant on this one, just adding my two cents on character development and tracking.
Meet the Guests (Ballroom B-C-D at 8:00 PM)
Come meet the Cruise Captain, BayCon 2012 Chairman Cruz Arellanes. Mingle with our guests as our Toastmasters regale us with interesting anecdotes and introduce our Guests of Honor.
Look for me at the writers table. I’d love to chat with you.
Saturday May 26, 2012
Writers Workshop Panel (9 AM-Noon)
Closed session while we critique.
BoF: Hunger Games (Central at 11:30 AM)
Three books, a movie, and the evil Gov’t – what’s not to love and discuss?
I know my previous session runs into this one, but I’m told that BOF (birds of a feather) are informal and it won’t be an issue. The Whedonista panel is also going on at this time. I was originally on that panel, but the time constraints were too difficult. Wish I could attend both.
Post-Apocalyptic Fiction (Central at 1:00 PM)
It keeps being written about – is this a story that never ends?
I love post-apocalyptic fiction, and both my books are set in post-apocalyptic worlds. Still, doesn’t the description make you wonder what we’ll cover? I’m certainly wondering.
Themed Reading: Science Fiction (Central at 2:30 PM)
Come listen to authors read from their science fiction works.
I’m apparently the moderator for this, too, so I’ll get to introduce the authors. I also plan to read my humorous short story “Pirate” from FlagShip Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine – July 2010. You wouldn’t want to miss that!
Sunday May 27, 2012
Themed Reading: Horror (Camino Real at 11:30 AM)
Come listen to our writers reading from their horror fiction.
I may read a section of my short “The Killer with Eyes of Ice” from Live and Let Undead: A Zombie Anthology. It depends on how much time I’m allowed.
BoF: Joss Whedon and the Whedonverse (Pool Deck at 4:00 PM)
Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Firefly. Join the masses that worship at the altar of all things Whedon.
On the pooldeck? Nice.
Wicked Women Writers (Bayshore at 8:00 PM)
A discussion of the Wicked Women Writers club and how to become a member, what writing clubs do for a writer, if they are worth the effort, talk about Litworld, a non-profit organization the Wicked Women Writers support as well as answer any audience questions.
Join me, Emerian Rich, and Laurel Ann Hill to talk about a great group. We will almost certainly read from the new anthology The Wickeds. My story is the one with the graveyard workers, serial killers, people being buried alive, the occult, and of course, the delicious Twinkies snack treat.
BoF: Horror Addicts (Bayshore at 9:00 PM)
Horror Addicts: People who are physiologically or psychologically dependent on items depicting macabre events. Discuss your macabre addictions and meet some of the cast of the HorrorAddicts.net podcast.
Since I’ve had several stories on the show, and joined a cast or two, I’ll be there. But I’ll be tired, so be nice. You may remember stories such as Undergrowth, Great Asp, Stripping the Zipper (no, I won’t be reading that one live), and Graveyard Shift & Re-shift. I’m also one of the voices on the newest season of Gothhaus. And a guest judge for past Masters of the Macabre or Wicked Women Writer challenges, in addition to being the 2009 Most Wicked. Whew!
Plus, I give Emz a hard time, and that’s always fun to watch.
Just for Fun
There is Regency dancing on Friday and Sunday nights. I hope to be there for some of it, though Sunday night looks pretty busy. If you see me there, ask me to dance!
Tags: Baycon 2012
The Wickeds: A Wicked Women Writers Anthology (Volume 1) is now available in print on Amazon. It includes my contest winning short story Graveyard Shift (and Reshift).
Here’s the release information from the publisher.
A Wicked Women Writers Anthology (Volume 1)
Available now at Amazon.com
Edited by Hollie Snider
This diverse collection of revenge, torture, and macabre is sure to quench any horror addict’s thirst for blood. Between these covers reside werewolves, demons, ghosts, vampires, a voodoo priestess, headless horseman, Bloody Mary, and human monsters that are perhaps the most disturbing.
With an exclusive interview of The Wickeds by Sapphire Neal. Lock your doors, bar your windows, and enjoy stories from: H. E. Roulo, Jeri Unselt, Linda Ciletti, Emerian Rich, Amity Green, Hollie Snider, Jennifer Rahn, Michele Roger, R. E. Chambliss, Arlene Radasky, Kimberly Steele, Laurel Anne Hill, and Rhonda R. Carpenter.
Proceeds will be donated to LitWorld, a non-profit organization that uses the power of story to cultivate literacy leaders around the globe.
H.E. Roulo Interviews the Writers on Podioracket.com
I had the opportunity to interview several of the women involved. These interviews, as well as many others, will be appearing on the Podioracket.com podcast very soon! I am stepping away from regular Podioracket.com interviews, but will continue to show up for special events and guest blogs.
Special Readings & Baycon
Last, I’ll be appearing on several panels at Baycon, in California, and doing two readings. One will be science fiction. The other, horror, and I’m thrilled to say I’ll be reading along with authors Emerian Rich and Laurel Ann Hill from The Wickeds.
More on my Baycon schedule in my next post. Until then, please check out the new book.
Finding a skilled, reliable, affordable freelance book editor isn’t impossible, but the range of options out there makes it confusing. I’ll share my experiences and see if it helps.
With my first novel, I went with word of mouth from people I knew. I went for cheap. I ended up with a series of editors who said they’d do the work, and months later admitted that it just wasn’t going to happen. They weren’t bad people, just people with good intentions and busy lives.
So in the three years since then I have saved my money, and now I’m ready to pay someone a reasonable amount to edit my book. But what’s reasonable? How do I find them? And what can I expect?
First, you’re going to be asked to judge price, schedule (how fast they can get to your work and return it to you), and quality based on just a little bit of information. Shop around. No, really, please shop around. Quotes ranged from $0.05 a word to $2 a page ($3,500-$650 for my 70,000 words). Some people could work immediately, and others had a four month wait. Time estimates ranged from 10 hours to 3-weeks to get the work done.
Second, get samples so you have something concrete to judge. Editors are happy to edit a sample, usually the opening five pages, and return it to you so they can give you an accurate estimate. This sounds like it would be great—hey, I get my opening edited over and over!—but it is quite crushing to get well-meaning edits from people whose opinions are different but whose job is to pick your work apart. Frankly, I came to hate the opening of my book and had to step back to regain perspective.
I didn’t edit my opening between editors so that I could get an honest comparison. The editors didn’t have a lot of gimme’s, since I’ve mastered basic grammar and punctuation, so it was interesting to see where they felt the story was vague, or which sentences needed to be clearer. I found little or no consensus from one editor to the next. I had to judge based on whether I agreed with the items they chose to point out.
Third, choose someone you trust or who has a good reputation. I saw editors whose samples weren’t up to par. That made my selection easier. Other than that, it is hard to judge the quality of edits based on a 5-page sample. Their methods also vary, including two who do not use track changes. Track changes will make your life easier, so keep that in the equation. I preferred editors who came recommended by people I know.
Last, you may be wondering how I found editors to even get samples from? I searched for the items I’ve tagged this post with, such as Independent Editor or Freelance Editor. There are even websites out there that contact numerous editors on your behalf. The one I tried started at $.02 a word, but had some amazing editors in their roster (others had less impressive editors, so check their credits). I also asked other self-published authors who they’d used and whether they were happy with the result (Remember to check Amazon comments on books they’ve edited. No comments about the editing is ideal). Finally, I contacted people I’d gotten to know through social media. Yup, twitter was actually useful. Can you believe it?
In all, I got five competent quotes. Am I completely satisfied? Well, no. But I feel that I gave it the best shot I could and made an educated choice.
Note: I didn’t post websites, names, or quotes because I’m not endorsing anyone. If you want specific information, however, I’m happy to share. Just contact me here or on twitter @hroulo.
The very best site I’ve found for learning about anthologies and other publishing opportunities is duotrope.com. There, they let you search, sort, and track markets. Speculative fiction writers can also use ralan.com. Horror writers might find the Library of the Living Dead forum useful, especially Other Publishers if you’re looking for a mix of opportunities.
Usually writers looking to publish are in one of two situations. Either you have a story and don’t know what to do with it, or you’re looking for ideas of what to write that someone will want. Duotrope.com will help you in both cases.
If you have an existing story you’re trying to get published then do a search on duotrope.com. You put in the genre, length, and what kind of payment level you’re looking for (from non-paying, token, through professional rates) and it will find fits. Then click on each match and use the link to the actual website. Find the market’s Submissions page to make sure your piece is a good fit with that market. Always follow the submission guidelines. I don’t say this to make you freak out, and possibly drive you to not submit at all. That is not the solution. Just pay attention to what they want, and the closer you match their needs the more likely you are to be selected.
If you are looking for interesting markets to write stories for, then I suggest looking at the calendar of themed magazines and anthologies on duotrope.com. I subscribe to Duotrope’s weekly email that lists these by the date they close. That way, I can see what’s coming up that I might like to submit to. I’ve found that anthologies give you the best odds of being selected for publication. You know precisely what they’re looking for and need right now.
Duotrope is also the site I use to track all my submissions. Using the information provided by all the other authors tracking their submissions, Duotrope creates metrics on numbers of submissions, how long it’s taking to get replies back, and what percent of submissions are being accepted. It makes me feel more in control than just waiting forever and hoping they’re actually going to reply at some point. Duotrope tells me if my wait is unusually longer than what other authors are suffering.
This is how I learned about the Live and Let Undead anthology looking for stories about working zombies. I already had a short story about zombies working outside the protective dome on a poisonous planet, but it was too long to meet their guidelines. Once I cut down the word count to fit, I knew I had a good shot at being selected. Now my story “The Killer with Eyes of Ice” is one of 18 stories in the anthology that just came out on Amazon.com.
I’ll also be in a couple other anthologies coming out this Spring. In addition to what Duotrope tracks, I’ve created a spreadsheet listing all my works and all my dream markets.
Once you know other people in the field and start making a name, it is easier to be invited to write. And wouldn’t we all like to have the work come to us for a change?
Tags: Duotrope.com, how to start publishing, Live and Let Undead, Publishing Advice, Ralan, short story publication for beginning writers, The Killer with Eyes of Ice, where to start with short stories
(Not that I would do that. Heh.)
But within the surplus of information they agree on certain points:
1.) Finish and then let the manuscript sit. Set it aside until you don’t recall each keystroke. Come back when you’re ready to question the choices you made. Several weeks seems ideal.
2.) Read fast, as if it is all new, and make notes about the story and characters. Note the awkward bits, but keep moving until you get to the end. Then think about the theme and how you can sharpen the story and characters.
Refine Your Perspective: What are you trying to say?
3.) Make the story, pacing, and character revisions so the manuscript feels complete.
Get Other People’s Perspective
4.) Give your text to a test reader or freelance editor. Several, if you can. Be specific about the kind of feedback you’re looking for (Do you want them to focus on story? Character? Or grammar and formatting? They don’t know if you don’t tell them.) Choose people who are constructive. Give adequate time for good feedback. Don’t nag, but be clear on deadlines.
5.) Consider test reader feedback and make changes.
Polish the Details so Nothing Detracts
6.) If the story and characters are nailed down, begin line edits.
[There's a great article with specific examples at Writers in the Storm]
Remove what isn’t necessary (words, paragraphs, even chapters)
Use powerful verbs
Remove adverbs and adjectives
Check grammar, spelling, and punctuation
7.) Print it. Read it out loud. Revise again.
Stop Editing. Yes, You Must Reach That Point
8.) Begin your query letter. Submit to a publisher or agent, or if you’re considering indie publishing then find a freelance editor and look at cover artists.
The same dough can make a loaf of bread or a cinnamon roll. You refine and bake it into its final shape, and that’s when it’s ready to be enjoyed.
Let me know how your editing goes.
An update on me: Using the outline method in A Simple Novel Outline, I wrote my newest book in 4 months. I’ve edited it, sent it to test readers, and have begun line editing. Everything seems to take so much longer than I expected, but I’m still excited about the book.
If you’re a fan of Fractured Horizon, or would like to read a short story set in that universe, check out Podioracket Presents-Glimpses story number 12 Future in Hand. It’s available as free audio on Podiobooks.com or an inexpensive text on Smashwords or at Amazon.com.
Just as every tree is different but still recognizably a tree, every story is different but contains elements that make it a story. By defining those before you begin you clarify the scope of your work, identify your themes, and create the story you meant to write.
At Norwescon 2011 I sat in on a session called Outline Your Novel in 90-minutes led by Mark Teppo. I’ll give you the brief, readable, synthesized version. Answer 9 questions and create 25 chapter titles and you’re there.
Here are the 9 questions to create a novel:
1.) Why did you choose this particular protagonist? (What’s so special that it HAD to be this person for this story?)
2.) What is the protagonist doing right now? (Enter the story as late as possible, as Kurt Vonnegut said. Don’t start with the back story, you’ll filter that in later.)
3.) What external stressor is applied to the protagonist? (What outside force changes everything for the protagonist?)
4.) What is the protagonist’s goal? (You must be clear on this. Honest.)
5.) What are the obstacles along the way? (Some structures say there should be 3. Remember, things must get worse after every obstacle.)
6.) What qualities of the protagonist helps or hinder him/her to overcome these obstacles (Your protagonist must operate at the best of their abilities, or the reader will call them idiot and bail. Are the obstacles truly hard enough to show your character’s best?)
7.) How will the protagonist change over the course of the story? (That is, after all, the story.)
8.) What are you trying to say? Why are you writing this particular story?
9.) What sacrifice levels the playing field? Remember, this journey is hard and the protagonist must demonstrate she/he is worthy to win. (Remember to show the protagonist’s reaction to the sacrifice. This is the moment of black despair– drag it out for all it is worth. Bigger the disaster, the longer you can extend it.)
Now, with those 9 questions answered to your satisfaction, try to fill in a 25 chapter, 75,000 word outline. Chapters 1-6 are the introduction to the world and characters. By chapter 5 the protagonists must have his goal (Q. 4). Chapter 5 is often the big obstacle.
Chapters 7-18 are the middle of your book. This is the fun, meaty goodness with your obstacles (Q. 5). Mark Teppo told us that if you get stuck while outlining, often around chapter 12, simply write “sex”. The chapter after that is, “things get worse.” and move on. He claims it really works. Let me know what you think.
Chapters 19-25 depict the heroic act to victory. Remember the sacrifice at chapter 23 (Q. 9) and to demonstrate the change the journey of the book has brought about in chapter 25 (Q. 7)
Wasn’t that easy?
Okay, sure, the work isn’t done yet. But the right questions are being asked.
Using the idea that there are 25 chapters, I outlined my current work in progress. I noted each chapter event and how things are worse at the end of the chapter. Rather than notecards on the floor, I stuck post-its on my wall so I could move two storylines around and see how they fit best together. My last book, Fractured Horizon, was a time-travel story and I learned a lot from it. Mostly I learned to keep a straight-forward timeline. This may look more like a tree than a book, but the shape of my final work is in there.
I hope that was helpful. I know it was for me. If not, perhaps you’d like to try the snowflake method. I found that method a bit cumbersome and never tried the software this website promotes. If you really don’t know where to start, make sure you’re familiar with the Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. Here it is as explained by Jordan Mccollum.
Tell me what works for you.
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