90 Days To Your Novel: A Day-by-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing Your Book

90 Days To Your Novel: A Day-by-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing Your Book

by Sarah Domet

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Overview

Got 90 Days? Then You Can Be a Novelist...

Many famous authors write their novels in a matter of weeks. William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying in six weeks. Joyce Carol Oates often cranks out two or three books a year. Stephen King believes first drafts should take no more than three months to complete. So, what's the trick? Novel writing isn't about inspiration. It's about the time, energy, and discipline to see the project to its finish.

With 90 Days To Your Novel at your side, now is the time. This inspiring guide will be your push, your deadline, and your spark to finally, without excuses, and in three short months, nail that first draft of your novel.

The difference between wanna-be writers and real writers is the difference between talk and work. If you commit to the schedule and the techniques within 90 Days to Your Novel and invest two to three hours a day for twelve weeks, you will complete your book. An outline will appear. Characters will take shape. A plot will emerge. Scenes will come together and form a story worth reading. And then the talking can begin!

This helpful guide provides:

   • Instruction that distills the elements of the novel - from crafting your outline to developing intriguing characters and believable plots
   • Strategies for gaining support from your family and friends
   • Motivating insights about writing and writers to minimize your inevitable moments of doubt
   • A schedule to keep you in the writing zone and keep you focused, creative, and working
Whether you're writing your first novel or your third, this guide provides the coaching, the planning, and the writerly commiseration to help get your book written.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582979977
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/20/2010
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 193,085
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Sarah Domet's work has been featured in journals such as Quarterly West, Many Mountains Moving, Potomac Review, Harpur Palate, Beloit Fiction Journal, and Ohio Valley History. She has worked on the editorial staff of The Cincinnati Review and has received many awards and fellowships, including The Charles Phelps Taft Dissertation and Research Fellowship, the New York State Summer Writers Institute Scholarship, and the Hatfield/Westheimer Short Story Prize. She has also presented her work at numerous conferences, and has taught a range of college writing and literature courses. She also works as a freelance writer and copyeditor, most recently developing a series of online fiction courses for WritersOnlineWorkshops.com.

Table of Contents

An Introduction, a Challenge, and a Warning 1

Part I Outlining Techniques & Scene-Writing Basics

Choosing Your Tools: An Outlining Primer 12

The "Structure-Plus" Outline 18

The Signpost Outline 20

The Note-Card Technique 22

The Spreadsheet Approach 24

The Flowchart 25

Learning to Compartmentalize: Scene by Scene by Scene 28

The Scene Defined 29

Scene Structure 36

Scene Variety 39

Part II The 90-Day Writing Challenge

The First Three Weeks: Days 1-21

Brainstorm, Chart, and Outline 47

Day 1 Ready, Set, Go (With What You Know) 49

Day 2 Writing With Your Senses 53

Day 3 Letting Your Old Ladies Scream 56

Day 4 Plot Happens 63

Day 5 Setting the Setting 67

Day 6 The Heart of the Heart of Your Novel 72

Day 7 Say What?!: Some Tips on Dialogue 78

Day 8 Choosing Your Eyeballs 83

Day 9 POV&V (Point of View and Voice) 88

Day 10 Packing Enough Baggage 93

Day 11 The Art of Conflict 99

Day 12 Making the Most of Minor Characters 103

Day 13 Scene or Summary, or, Taking the Dull Parts Out 108

Day 14 Act One: The First Cluster of Scenes 112

Day 15 Act Two: The Second Cluster of Scenes 115

Day 16 Act Three: The Final Cluster of Scenes 117

Day 17 Flashing Backward, Looking Forward 119

Day 18 Don't Be Tone-Deaf 122

Day 19 Novel Synopsis, the Preblueprint 126

Day 20 & 21 Ladies and Gentlemen ... the Outline! 128

Week 4 Days 22-28

First Assessments 132

Week 4, Assignment 1 Assessing Scene Worth 134

Week 4, Assignment 2 Assessing Scene Variety 136

Week 4, Assignment 3 Assessing the Narrative Arc 140

Week 4, Assignment 4 Researching Your Fictional World 150

Week 5 Days 29-35

What A Character 153

Week 5, Assignment 1 You Are How You Look 155

Week 5, Assignment 2 Sharply Particular Characters 156

Week 5, Assignment 3 Conducting Background Checks 158

Week 5, Assignment 4 Becoming a Mind Reader 162

Week 5, Assignment 5 Eyeballing It 164

Week 6 Days 36-42

Where It All Begins: The First Scene(s) 166

Week 6, Assignment 1 The First Lines 167

Week 6, Assignment 2 Scene One, Take One 171

Week 6, Assignment 3 In the Middle of the Beginning 174

Week 6, Assignment 4 The End of the Beginning-or the Start of the End 177

Week 7 Days 43-49

Welcome to the Middle 179

Week 7, Assignment 1 Attention: Minors Served Here 181

Week 7, Assignment 2 Set the Mood Lighting 182

Week 7, Assignment 3 I Second That Emotion 185

Week 7, Assignment 4 A Meditation on Theme 188

Week 8 Days 50-56

Stuck in the Middle with You 191

Week 8, Assignment 1 Lights, Camera, Action! 194

Week 8, Assignment 2 Talk It Out 197

Week 8, Assignment 3 The Scene Before the Scene 201

Week 9 Days 57-63

On the Other Side of A Bridge Too Far 205

Week 9, Assignment 1 Mountaintop Messages 207

Week 9, Assignment 2 Adjusting the Picture 214

Week 10 Days 64-70

So Long, Farewell 216

Week 10, Assignment 1 Bump, Set, Spike ... Then What? 217

Week 10, Assignment 2 Tying off Mini-Threads 220

Week 10, Assignment 3 Good-Bye Is the Hardest Word 233

Week 11 Days 71-77

Mind the Gaps 226

Week 11, Assignment 1 Outline to Novel to Outline 228

Week 11, Assignment 2 Between the Scene 233

Week 12 Days 78-84

Quick Starts, Grand Finales, and Universal Messages 237

Week 12, Assignment 1 In the Beginning (Again) 238

Week 12, Assignment 2 The Riveting Reflective Finale 243

Week 12, Assignment 3 Theme Me Up, Scotty 246

The Homestretch: Days 85-90

Cleaning up Your Acts 249

The Homestretch, Assignment 1 Your First Job as Editor: Judging a Book by its Cover 252

The Homestretch, Assignment 2 The Final Read-Through and a Self-Editing Checklist 254

The Homestretch, Assignment 3 Finding Your Critics, or, "Just Say No" to Relatives as Final Readers 257

The Final Assignment 261

Day 91 And Beyond 264

Demystifying the Role of Agent and Editor 266

Query, My Dearie 269

Revise Reprise 270

And Then Submit 272

This Is the End 274

Acknowledgements 276

About The Author 277

Index 278

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