Planners are writers who plan their stories ahead of time. And pantsers are writers who fly by the seat of their pants.
For non-fiction writing though we should all be planners. And if you’re trying to write an eBook in a short period of time then you need to start before Day 1 of your writing challenge, and make sure you have a solid outline prepared.
Why An Outline Is Necessary
These EbookWriMo tips are short posts so I won’t go into chapter and verse about this, but solid outlines help your writing in these ways:
- Reduce writer’s block. A lot of writer’s block is caused by the blank page and not knowing what to write. Your outline should tell you.
- Eliminate structural editing. Structural editing is taking a completed draft and reworking the order to make the parts you’ve written flow better or fit better. Structural Editing is done at outlining stage.
- Organizes your material. You know not only where you start but also where you’re going to finish. And most of the steps along the way. Finishing your book is simply a matter of writing all those steps.
- Reduces writer’s block (2) Because your outline organizes your material there’s no need to write in the finished order of the book. Is there a section you’re really keen on writing? Then write that first.
- Allows You To Write In Chunks A great productivity tip I got from the fiction world and NaNoWriMo came from author James Scott Bell. He calls these ideas the furious 500 and the nifty 350. You’ll find more about them here: http://www.right-writing.com/disciplines.html But an outline allows you to tailor your writing to the chunks of available writing time that you have.
- It Makes Your Writing More Focused…because you’ve done the work of exploring exactly what your book is about in the outline stage, in the writing stage you can focus on writing only the words that are necessary at each point in your book.
- …which gives the reader a more coherent read. Your outline gives your writing focus – that focus grounds your reader and gives them a sense they are in the hands of an author who: (i) knows where they are going; (ii) and won’t take any unnecessary detours getting there
There Are Other Jobs A Solid Outline Does Too…
Because you know what you are going to write in your book you can start the ball rolling on all the other tasks that need doing prior to publication – e.g. preselling, cover design, marketing, interviews, etc etc. This post is solely about the writing stage, so these other tasks aren’t relevant to this post.
So Tip #1 Is: Don’t Start Without A Solid Outline
I started work on my outline at least 10 days ago. And I was thinking about this book before then. So having my outline solidly in place has allowed me to select a day as Day 1 (which was yesterday) and just start writing.
EbookWriMo Word Tally – Day 2
Today is the 4th of November and the fourth day of NaNoWriMo, it’s the second day of my personal EBook Challenge.
On Day 1 (yesterday) I wrote 763 words.
Today (Day 2) I wrote 1202 words.
So my current total is 1965 words.