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This One Tool Can Make Novel Plotting So Much Easier

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Hello everyone! Long time no see! We deeply regret that!

With Camp NaNo on the horizon, many of us are preparing projects to land a win in a less strenuous child of NaNoWriMo.

Planners everywhere know that planning can either drive you absolutely insane or it can be as easy as your grandma’s homemade pie.

Now, to begin, I want everyone to know, I am by no means, a plotter. Not by any means. If given the chance to Write in the Dark (Dean Wesley Smith term) or plotting, I’d write in the dark every time.

However, sometimes I do have to have some general info before diving off into the wild blue yonder. This being the case, I want to introduce a tool that made this so much easier: Trello.

What Is Trello?

Simply put, Trello is the digital version of writing on index cards. It was founded in 2011 by Fog Creek Software but was later sold to the New York based company, Atlassian in 2017.

It makes working with teams incredibly easy when involving large projects with multiple steps.

How Authors Can Use It:

For an author, it can be used in any number of ways:

  1. Front/ Back Matter Layout
  2. Amazon Keywords
  3. Potential Publishers/Agents
  4. Outlining
  5. Characters
  6. Setting
  7. Scene set up
  8. Blurb creation
  9. Alpha Readers
  10. Query Letter Writing
  11. And much more….

Each “card” and “board” can be moved around according to the needs of the author. Meaning, you don’t have to write tons of scenes and work on the floor of your bedroom (unless that’s your thing). More on this a little later.

It also has a mobile app so you can work on any device! How nifty is that?

For more information, Mackenzie Kinkaid made an amazing resource for authors to see how she uses Trello. You can find it here: Trello for Writers.

A Set-Up Example:

When you first sign up and log into Trello, you’re met with a screen that looks like this:

(c) Blaise Ramsay via Trello.com

This is basically how Blaise uses the program. Each board is used for things like characters (which may or may not include photos), Settings (which isn’t included with this one) and some sort of noting system.

Here, you can see an example of the 3- Act layout, which is actually less of an outline and more of a “beat sheet.” There are still crucial details needing to be filled out. I’ll do a post on this later.

Important stuff — like story premise, theme, Synopsis, blurbs, keywords, target word and chapter count, and back matter — are included here.

Then you have characters — including ARC developments — followed closely by settings (which isn’t included here) and whatever “beat sheet” (if any) you use. Notes are in the form of comments below each Act and character.

Other things (not in this case), you might include are potential publishers, agents, Dedication, Acknowledgements, etc in the boards following the beat sheet.

Every novel is different. Depending on the needs of the story, you might switch up my beat sheets. If you’re a panster like we at FyreSyde are, you might not go into too much detail prior to writing.

We hope this helps! Let me know if you use Trello in your upcoming endeavors. We’d love to see what you think in the comments!

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Surviving Camp NaNo Part 1: Camp vs. NaNo

Camp NaNo is around the corner. Though it’s not as strenuous as NaNoWriMo, it can still seem overwhelming to those who are thinking of undertaking the challenge.

In this short series, we hope to debunk some of the confusion revolving around Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo (which takes place in November). We hope to help you stay motivated, whatever your goals are, and to win Camp NaNo during the month of July.

What’s The Difference?

To begin, answering the question “what’s the difference?” can go a long way. The difference between Camp NaNo and regular NaNoWriMo is that Camp NaNo is much more laid back. You can set your own goals based on Word Count, hours, minutes, pages, lines, etc. It does not demand a definite 50K word count to win. You still must accomplish the goal you set for yourself to win but it is your goal.

Camp NaNo can also be used for revision on a project you are already working on.

What Are Cabins?

Cabins are spaces where authors can actively engage, must like online chat rooms. Authors can meet future critique partners and arrange manuscript swaps when they complete their goals.

While NaNoWriMo doesn’t have cabins, it does offer help through forums. However, Camp NaNo’s cabin system can help authors on a more “live” basis for the reasons listed above. Many authors do this in the form of word sprints, write-ins and more during regular NaNo but it can become hard when trying to sprint to meet that winning goal.

There’s No Month Ahead Planning (at least not yet)

Because the goals are primarily set by the author, Camp NaNo doesn’t have a month ahead of time for the authors to prepare their stories (Preptober). Preptober is when authors use the entire month of October to outline, prepare their writing projects and organize a calendar with word count goals.

Don’t Get Us Wrong, Camp NaNo Requires Discipline and CareFul Planning

Just because Camp NaNo isn’t as demanding as NaNo, it doesn’t mean an author shouldn’t devote to starting it and not working towards a finish line. It is laid back but it still requires a level of devotion and discipline.

One must still plan carefully in order to reach the intended goal. Procrastination still can seep in and cause lethargy no matter what an author wants or plans to do.

Next week, we will cover what you can do to help stick to your goals during July’s edition of Camp NaNoWriMo. Until then, Happy Writing!!!

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Info-Dumping: How You Can Avoid It

Nothing slows down a story worse than paragraphs of description. It becomes even more problematic when an author chooses to open a novel with too much backstory. This ruins the hook and can often result in the loss of the reader.

Here’s the thing, as authors, we seem to have fallen into the trap of thinking we have to explain every little thing that goes on in our novel. The truth (and the beauty of this) is, we don’t.

Jerry Jenkins, author of the international best-selling Left Behind series, is quoted to say:

“Less detail is often better”

Jerry Jenkins, https://jerryjenkins.com/blog/

This has never been more true in today’s publishing industry.

The fact is, “info-dumping” does not help your story. You don’t have to explain every little thing.

So what is “info-dumping?” Why do authors think they need it? Most importantly, what are some good ways to get rid of it?

Let’s begin.

What is Info-Dumping?

Ellen Brock gives a great description of what an info-dump is:

For those who don’t know what an info dump is, it’s an extended form of telling (rather than showing). An info dump is a big chunk of information that is “dumped” in the reader’s lap all at once. These info dumps are usually done through narration but can be found in dialogue as well.

Ellen Brock, NOVEL BOOT CAMP – LECTURE #3: HOW TO AVOID INFO DUMPING

The fact is, relying on info-dumping is shifting attention from the plot which is the more vital part of the story you’re trying to tell. It slows things down (as previously mentioned) and can often come off as “alright already” moments.

Some of the most common cases of info-dumping can include:

  • Backstory
  • How things work (government, magic, etc)
  • Different creatures or races
  • Landscape or houses (living quarters)
  • How someone looks (really bad in romance)
  • Weather
  • Technology (prevalent in science fiction)
  • And many more…

Why Do Authors Think They Need It?

As previously mentioned, authors think they need to paint the picture for their readers rather than letting the reader do it themselves. The beauty of reading is it allows the reader to develop their own pictures in their mind.

Info-Dumping is “telling” not “showing.” It is always better to do as much showing as possible. Let your reader paint the picture of Mr.Wonderful from your romance novel or the wicked beast in your horror novel.

It keeps them engaged, develop theories and at times, leads them to contact you (the author) to ask questions and spread word of your novels.

Rule of thumb: If you choose to use an info-dump, keep it brief! A few sentences max.

How Can You Avoid or Get Rid of It?

The easiest way to avoid and eliminate info-dumping is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the reader really need to know this? If so, can I split it up via dialogue and narrative?
  • Is it prudent to the story? Meaning does it contribute to the plot? If not, get rid of it.
  • Can I replace the dump with conflict (a scene) capable of delivering the same information? For example, if the dump is backstory, maybe the villain and the hero have history. Can you give a hint of backstory through brief banter?
  • Can the info be delivered in an already existing scene?

Further tips:

  • Do not be afraid of re-writing. Info-dumps are a very common problem in first drafts. Often an author can slip into writing them and not recognize what they’re doing.
  • Scenes can become info-dumps. For example, an office scene where two characters are talking can easily become cumbersome to the reader. Keep it short, keep it brief.
  • Show! Don’t tell as much as possible. Readers like to create an image in their minds.
  • Make it creative!
  • Have beta readers look over your novel prior to send it publishers. Many require manuscripts to at least have two rounds of rough editing. Nothing burdens an editor worse than having to re-write large amounts of info-dumping.

For further reading:

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[PrepTober Pt.4] Surviving NaNo

***Before I get to the juicy stuff, let’s get some housecleaning done. Be sure you read all the way to the bottom for some ways you can access to exclusive content not available to the public. If this is your first time joining us, we here at FyreSyde are a husband and wife duo who made the decision we wanted to offer a community to help our creative entrepreneurs, readers, bloggers and authors alike. Blaise’s book, Blessing of Luna can be found on Amazon in audiobook, paperback and eBook with the second book in the series, Bane of Tenebris, due to be released in July of 2019. If you would like to sign up for the launch team and receive a free digital copy of the book, please email us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com with “Launch Team” in the subject line.*** 


 

The (2)Here we are. The final day before NaNoWriMo begins full force. Are you excited? I hope so. After all, you’ve got your idea, you’ve made a decision whether or not to mind-map, and found a method of outlining. 

But!

I’m going to switch the plan: Survival Tips for your Halloween Treat. Many authors begin strong but soon find themselves encountering familiar foes like writer’s block (or blinking cursor syndrome), fatigue, procrastination and frustration.

Here are some  things you can do to alleviate these common enemies many NaNos face, I’ll go into more detail but for now here are the basics:

  • Scene planning
  • Attend Wordsprints
  • Ask for feedback
  • Get a critique partner
  • Attend live/online write-ins
  • Plan for procrastination
  • Take breaks, it’s okay
  • Turn off your inner perfectionist
  • Make your writing time sacred

Scene Planning:

Something you can do to alleviate some pressure when you get stuck is to stop and plan some scenes. It can help you feel less overwhelmed if you look at the smaller parts first and then add them into the overall story. I did this in Blessing of Luna and it truly did make things less daunting. I had the major scenes planned out which just left the details. You can do this in a notebook while you’re binge-watching Netflix or listening to music. 

This way, there’s no pressure of “Oh God, I have a full novel to write” only you, your notebook and a pen or pencil. Use scene planning as a method to relax as a lighter exercise then when you’re ready, go back to work.

Attend Wordsprints:

Wordsprints are timed sessions many authors have during NaNoWriMo. They’re simply times authors can get together (or by yourself) and focus on writing. The timer is for you to keep focused during the time the sprint is happening. It can be as long or as short as you like. The point is for you to pace yourself with an opportunity to join others. During NaNo, I hold word sprints either on Facebook live or on FyreSyde’s Twitch channel. I welcome you to join me. I know Kim Chance and Megan LaCroix hold them on their Facebook pages. It’s a great time to be with others and realize you aren’t alone.

Ask For Feedback:

The forums on the NaNoWriMo site are a great place to find feedback if you haven’t been able to find your tribe yet. They’re very active during November and have a specific section dedicated to those needing feedback. Remember, you aren’t alone. There are many of us all doing the same thing and most likely suffering or have suffered what you’re going through. 

Get a Critique Partner:

I should say something along the lines of a person who will make sure you’re holding toThe (3) your goals. Your personal cheerleader. Someone you trust to complain, whine, moan and gripe to. For me, last year, it was my poor husband. This person is someone to hold your hand during your journey. They can be a spouse, a friend, a parent, another author, a boy/girlfriend, etc. After NaNo, these are some folks you can swap novels with for the Alpha reading stage. A critique partner is a great support system because they can provide crucial feedback. Especially if you’re too nervous to ask.

Attend Write-Ins (Online or Live)

Write ins are a lot like word sprints, only without the timer. They’re gatherings of authors who get together to do what they love: write. They’re held all over the place. You may have some going on in your hometown. I know where I live, there are multiple going on at midnight tonight. If you’re looking for write-ins, the NaNo site is a good place to start as well. The forums have a section for those who are holding write-ins. If you attend on online, they’re mostly held via avenues like google hangout, Facebook live, Instagram, and sometimes on phone apps. It’s all up to you as to how you want to attend. It’s yet another opportunity for you to get together with others, network and get crucial help and feedback.

Plan For Procrastination:

It’s going to happen. Even to veterans of NaNo. Plan for it accordingly. Whatever you do, don’t confuse procrastination with relaxation. It’s more than okay to take a break. NaNo is a sprint if there ever was one. However, don’t put off your novel so long, it never gets written or forces you to produce subpar work. 

Take Breaks: It’s Okay

As mentioned above, it’s more than okay to take some days to rest. Your creative tank may need some time to rest. These self-care days can be a time where you allow yourself to either plan some scenes, watch Netflix, or if you’re a late nighter, sleep. You may choose to read those books on your overly large TBR list. Whatever it is, allow yourself some time.

Turn Off Your Inner Editor/Perfectionist

vince_lombardi_encouragement_quote1NaNo is for you to write at least 50K (or whatever your wordcount is). There’s no need for you to flesh out a final draft in that time. Turn off your inner editor and just focus on getting the story into a Word doc, Scriviner, etc. The pressure is already on. You have limited time to dish out some serious word counts, why put more on yourself. This is a good time to write for fun, not for perfection. A good friend of mine, Michelle Rene has a great article on how to focus on writing as fast as possible by shutting up your inner editor

Make Your Writing Time Sacred

Choose a time you write best and stick to it. If you’re a parent, ask your spouse or significant other to watch the kiddos so you can write. If you have older kids, ask them to give you this time to yourself. Just so you know, it’s okay for younger kids to watch tony_robbins_encouragement_quote1television during NaNo. They get to laugh and squeal at SpongeBob while you get to focus on your world-building. Maybe you’re like me and write best late at night. Whatever works best for you, make sure you stick to it until the end of the month. It’ll help you focus your time and give you a goal. Also, reward yourself when you accomplish it. Go to the man-cave or the she-shack and play a video game or enjoy some coffee. Heck, you just wrote for almost two hours, give yourself a treat.


Writing can be a lonely occupation but the great thing is, NaNo is a time where many writers are forming groups to support each other during a trying time. Whatever you choose to do, have fun and don’t give up!

download (2)

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[Preptober Pt.3] Deciding on an Outlining Method

***Before I get to the juicy stuff, let’s get some housecleaning done. Be sure you read all the way to the bottom for some ways you can access to exclusive content not available to the public. If this is your first time joining us, we here at FyreSyde are a husband and wife duo who made the decision we wanted to offer a community to help our creative entrepreneurs, readers, bloggers and authors alike. Blaise’s book, Blessing of Luna can be found on Amazon in audiobook, paperback and eBook with the second book in the series, Bane of Tenebris, due to be released in July of 2019. If you would like to sign up for the launch team and receive a free digital copy of the book, please take the time to fill out this form.*** 


 

TheWe’ve made it folks, it’s the second to the last week of Preptober. We have a solid idea, we’ve decided on whether or not to mind-map and if we have, now we’re ready to outline! (Unless you’re a pantser, plotster, etc. Still read on! You might change your mind and avoid the mid-month wall crash).

Last week, I went over three different outlining methods you can use when approaching your outline. HOWEVER! There are many and I encourage you to choose what works for you. 

For the purpose of this post however, I will cover the three I mentioned. 

Good Old Dan Wells

Dan Well’s created an outlining method known as the 7-point plot structure**. This is possibly my favorite method because it forces you to focus on the main points in the story and alleviates focusing too much on details too early on.

This method begins with what he likes to call the “Ice Breaker Monster.” Basically, you’re promising the reader just as they open the book that action is coming down the pike. You might do this as Lord of the Rings did by starting backwards and showing some history prior to beginning the actual story.dan-wells

  • Part 1: The Hook: This is the character in their ordinary world. Where they start before the inciting incident pushes them to move the story forward. In Lord of the Rings, this is when we see Harry in his squalid condition of living under the stairs. It gives us a glance into the world before moving on to the first Plot Turn.
  • Part 2: Plot Turn 1: This is your inciting incident. The action that moves your character forward into their journey. In Lord of the Rings, Frodo is given the ring by Gandalf and told to meet him in Bree.
  • Part 3: Pinch 1: This would follow after your hero refuses to answer the call to action. They need to be persuaded to move into their journey. For example, Frodo goes to Bree but finds Gandalf isn’t there. He realizes he must continue the journey with the help of Aragorn.
  • Part 4: Midpoint: The meat of the story. A point where the character realizes they have to answer the call to action. Going back to the example of Lord of the Rings, this is when Frodo is with the council and realizes he’s the only one who can take the ring to Mordor. The Fellowship is formed.
  • Part 5: Pinch 2: This is when things get bad. The hero often suffers a severe loss and finds themselves alone. After the battle with the Balrog, Frodo loses Gandalf and feels shaken in his resolve.
  • Part 6 & 7 are known as the Plot turn 2 and resolution. The hero is able to get the last pieces of the story put together and move on into the resolution. Frodo and Sam decide they can’t accomplish their goals through the broken fellowship and must continue on their own. In the end, Frodo throws the Ring into the fires of Mt. Doom thus destroying Sauron.

**If you need further elaboration, Dan himself walks through three different examples in this youtube series.


Dan Harmons’ Embryo Method

tumblr_inline_n8sssrntlC1qj0ue8Screen writer Dan Harmon does a dissection of the popular Hero’s Journey template by removing parts he deems “unnecessary” to avoid the “fluff” and move right into the action. His method is broken down like this:

  • You (a character is in a zone of comfort) > Introduce your character
  • Need (but they want something) > There’s something off
  • Go (they enter an unfamiliar situation) > Call to action/ inciting incident
  • Search (adapt to it) > They have no choice but to continue
  • Find (find what they wanted) > The Midpoint
  • Take (pay its price) > Things get bad for the protagonist
  • Return (and go back to where they started) > Finding the power within
  • Change (now capable of change) > The hero is ready to face the beast head on

I use this method from time to time because it’s very basic and doesn’t focus on details much like Dan Wells’. For more in depth study, I invite you to check this wikia.


3 Act, 9 Block, 27 Chapter Method

This is the method I used for my first novel. It’s miraculous for pacing and can offer great incite on how to break your chapters down into a manageable 27. It was founded by Katytastic on youtube and has since been used by many authors to complete their66714aed90eb335e39bf28c3fcd44a65 novels.

However, because of its length and the way it’s set up, I’m unable to go over every piece here. If requested, I’d be happy to do a rundown. Writer’sedit.com has already done so for the popular Young Adult series, Hunger Games.


But Which is Right for me?

As I mentioned, there are many ways to outline. Chapter by Chapter, 3 Act, Snowflake Method, Hero’s Journey, etc. There is no “right” way to outline. It’s all how you, the author, want to plan your novel. 

Start by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. How much do I want to know before writing?
  2. Which would benefit my story most?
  3. What aspect of my story would I possibly struggle with most?

Once you know these, it should be easier for you to decide, if at all. If you’re a total plotster or panster, then sit down and go for it!

BEFORE YOU GO! PLEASE READ ON!


Thank you so much for joining us this week. We are so excited to share this series with you and hope it helps during these next two months. We invite you to sign up for our newsletter and receive not one but two free eBooks as a thank you! We will never spam you!

As we mentioned above, we’re offering exclusive content only available to those who support us on Patreon. Why Patreon? Because it’ll help us reach our goals of putting out printing compilations, extras and eventually publishing opportunities to authors struggling to either start or are desperately looking to avoid the slush piles of bigger publishing houses. 

We welcome you to join us twice a week on our Twitch channel where you can get to know us on a more personal basis, watch as we work, play video games and chat with our readers live! As of now we’re aiming for 7 – 9PM CST Wednesdays and Sundays! 

If you have the time and want to find some wonderful folks who can help you design the perfect eye-catching book cover, please drop by our friends at Damonza.com. Use the code, FYRESYDE to get 5% off your purchase! We use no one but this team of dedicated professionals for all of our book covers.

Had trouble with Word losing your files? Want a place you can plan, outline, have your character sheets, research, etc? Look no further than Scriviner. Trusted by our authors for almost a year, Scriviner is available wherever you need it to be. Now as an app! Click the links for Mac or Windows.

If you would like to write for us, please get in touch with us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We would love to talk with you!

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[Preptober pt.2] Mindmapping v. Outlining v. Pansting

***Before I get to the juicy stuff, let’s get some housecleaning done. Be sure you read all the way to the bottom for some ways you can access to exclusive content not available to the public. If this is your first time joining us, we here at FyreSyde are a husband and wife duo who made the decision we wanted to offer a community to help our creative entrepreneurs, readers, bloggers and authors alike. Blaise’s book, Blessing of Luna can be found on Amazon in audiobook, paperback and eBook with the second book in the series, Bane of Tenebris, due to be released in July of 2019. If you would like to sign up for the launch team and receive a free digital copy of the book, please take the time to fill out this form.*** 


 

We are back again! This time, we’re facing some serious opponents in the cage: Mindmapping versus Outlining versus pantsing. FIGHT!

To begin to find out how we want to cheer for these titans in the ring, we need to understand what each of them are:

mind-mapping-graphic-100679740-large

Mindmapping:

The real definition, according to Mindmapping.com, is:

“A graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.”

Put simply, it’s the messiest form of getting anything you can think of down on paper in some kind of graphic. It can be in the circle web, a tree branch system, etc.

A great tool authors can use is called Freemind. It’s absolutely free and makes the process much easier. 

Once the process is complete you can move onto your second opponent in the cage: Outlining.


Outlining:

Going back to the official definition, according to Dictionary.com, an outline is:

“a general sketch, account, or report, indicating only the main features, as of a book, subject, or project”

What does this mean? Just as it says. You are putting your story in such a way that you dan-wellscan see it’s pacing, plot line, characters, etc.

There are many ways you can do this. However, some of those I use are Dan Well’s 7-point plot structure, The Embryo Method, and of course my favorite, the 3 Act, 9 Block, 27 Chapters method founded by Katytastic. Each of them are powerful and some of the most efficient ways to outline I’ve found! It’s up to you to decide on what’s best for you and your novel!


Pantsing

Pantsing is the most free approach to writing a novel. There’s no dedication to an outline. Often there’s not even a mind-mapping technique involved. It’s the most Stephen King method out there and still one of my most preferred.

However!

quote-but-it-s-writing-damn-it-not-washing-the-car-or-putting-on-eyeliner-if-you-can-take-stephen-king-89-85-72I am what is known as a Plotster. Most of the time, despite my love for the methods above, I don’t really use them I’d rather have a general idea as vague as possible so I can let the characters and story evolve as they will. When I do outline, it’s often Dan Well’s method which gives you the meat and leaves out the details.


But, which is right for me?

This is for you, as the creator, to decide. Some great questions you can ask are:

  1. What do I know about my story?
  2. Do I want to know everything up front or allow some freedom to move around?
  3. Do I even want to mind-map?
  4. Do I need to mind-map?
  5. What would benefit the story most?

download (2)Ultimately, you know your story better than anyone. you know what it needs, how the world feels and what you want to know – which can be as much or as little as you like.

  • Try each of them out! Maybe one feels right.
  • Do your research. There are many and I mean many ways to go about creating your story.

Never give up! There’s a story inside of you, you just may have to really dig deep to find it!

BEFORE YOU GO! PLEASE READ ON!


Thank you so much for joining us this week. We are so excited to share this series with you and hope it helps during these next two months. We invite you to sign up for our newsletter and receive not one but two free eBooks as a thank you! We will never spam you!

As we mentioned above, we’re offering exclusive content only available to those who support us on Patreon. Why Patreon? Because it’ll help us reach our goals of putting out printing compilations, extras and eventually publishing opportunities to authors struggling to either start or are desperately looking to avoid the slush piles of bigger publishing houses. 

We welcome you to join us twice a week on our Twitch channel where you can get to know us on a more personal basis, watch as we work, play video games and chat with our readers live! As of now we’re aiming for 7 – 9PM CST Wednesdays and Sundays! 

If you have the time and want to find some wonderful folks who can help you design the perfect eye-catching book cover, please drop by our friends at Damonza.com. Use the code, FYRESYDE to get 5% off your purchase! We use no one but this team of dedicated professionals for all of our book covers.

Had trouble with Word losing your files? Want a place you can plan, outline, have your character sheets, research, etc? Look no further than Scriviner. Trusted by our authors for almost a year, Scriviner is available wherever you need it to be. Now as an app! Click the links for Mac or Windows.

If you would like to write for us, please get in touch with us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We would love to talk with you!

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[Preptober Pt.1] Deciding What to Write

***Before I get to the juicy stuff, let’s get some housecleaning done. Be sure you read all the way to the bottom for some ways you can access to exclusive content not available to the public. If this is your first time joining us, we here at FyreSyde are a husband and wife duo who made the decision we wanted to offer a community to help our creative entrepreneurs, readers, bloggers and authors alike. Blaise’s book, Blessing of Luna can be found on Amazon in audiobook, paperback and eBook with the second book in the series, Bane of Tenebris, due to be released in July of 2019. If you would like to sign up for the launch team and receive a free digital copy of the book, please email us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com with “Launch Team” in the subject line.*** 


PBR_Logo
Copyright Rachel Stephen, founder of Preptober

So, as you have probably noticed if you have any presence in the writing community or social media in general, you are noticing the term Preptober being used all over the place. 

One simply does not walk into Twitter and not see this hashtag haunting the pages. 

What Is Preptober?

Simply put, Preptober is a month authors of all kinds and genres use to prepare for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). In this four part series, I hope to help give you ways you can benefit the most from Preptober. If you’re stuck on how to schedule preptober in a way you find helpful, check out this helpful little schedule sheet.

What You Can Look Forward To:

To get your feet wet in what I’m planning, here’s a rundown:

  1. Part 1 – Deciding what to write
  2. Part 2 – Mind mapping v. Outlining v. Pantsing
  3. Part 3 – Deciding an outline method
  4. Part 4 – Fleshing out your outline

Without further hesitation, let’s get this show on the road.

If you’ve done NaNoWriMo then you know the goal is to begin a brand new project with the end goal of publishing it either traditionally, self-publishing or indie publishing.

It Gets Us All: The Questionwriting-meme

Many authors struggle with this first question: What should I write? What genre is popular? What if the story I have doesn’t sell? I’m going to ask you to put away the question of popularity and selling and focus only on the story you, the author, wants to tell.

To figure it out, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What’s something you have either in your mind or written in a journal somewhere that you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t for any number of reasons?
  2. What story is going to keep you interested?
  3. What are you passionate about?
  4. Which one can you finish fastest?

By figuring out these questions, you’ve already helped yourself decide on a story you want to dedicate time and energy to. If you can’t answer these questions or fear you might get distracted, take a step back and write a few scenes.

download (1)Isn’t Writing before NaNo Cheating?

Believe it or not this isn’t cheating. Writing out a few scenes can help you get a feel for the characters you’re fixing to spend the next month with. Develop some locations, a music playlist, and some character sheets.

You may find you’re still stuck and that’s perfectly fine! Now is the time to catch up on your To Be Read List (TBR List) to get some inspiration. Reach for your favorite movies, play your favorite games (if you’re a gamer) and listen to your favorite music. You may just need to refill your think tank.

Once you know what you want to write, give yourself a few short sentences to describe your story. This is what we call an elevator pitch but I’ll cover more on that in a later post.

Never give up! There’s a story inside of you, you just may have to really dig deep to find it!

BEFORE YOU GO! PLEASE READ ON!


Thank you so much for joining us this week. We are so excited to share this series with you and hope it helps during these next two months. We invite you to sign up for our newsletter and receive not one but two free eBooks as a thank you! We will never spam you!

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Had trouble with Word losing your files? Want a place you can plan, outline, have your character sheets, research, etc? Look no further than Scriviner. Trusted by our authors for almost a year, Scriviner is available wherever you need it to be. Now as an app! Click the links for Mac or Windows.

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