Daniel Schwabauer Outlines aren’t the only way to bring shape to a story. A bad outline will drive you compulsively in the wrong direction. Instead of giving advice, it will give commands. It will tell you to write what it summarizes, regardless of how the story has changed in your mind during the telling. “I am the story,” a bad outline will say. And if you listen to it, your story will be bad too.
By Tineke Bryson, Staff Writer There are many reasons why young writers stall. And it’s hard to watch, as a parent and teacher. What do you do when your son or daughter loses momentum with The One Year Adventure Novel course?
By Rachel Garner, Staff Writer For six years, I couldn’t figure out how to write an opening scene for my book. It’s a running joke among my friends that I’m an obsessive editor—I’ve spent nearly ten years now on the book itself—but my struggles with chapter 1 were especially ridiculous.
By Jared Schmitz, Guest Contributor How do you view the early drafts of your writing projects? Do you view them as blocks of stone requiring smoothing and carving into shape, but essentially complete? Or do you view them more as lumps of clay, likely needing to be fully reshaped more than once?
By Sarah Noe, Guest Contributor At the beginning of last summer, the words stopped coming. I couldn’t understand it. I loved my characters, but they came out on the page flat. My prose was clunky. The theme, which I cared about, wasn’t strong enough to hold up the struggling plot. I was devastated.