Thursday, October 21, 2010

Outline or By-the-Seat of Your Pants Writer?

By Elysabeth Eldering

National Novel Writing Month, or better known as NaNo, occurs in November. This is a time when everyone and anyone puts forth the effort to write a novel, or at least the beginnings of a full fledged novel. The goal of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days (about 1667 words a day). But 50,000 words isn't really a full novel. If you accomplish this goal, you may have about a novel that is 2/3 completed. You could actually write a complete novella in the 30 days but not a full-fledged novel.

I have participated in NaNo for several years now, mostly as a cheerleader and the "official word keeper" for our region but I did write a novella or young adult novel one year, although I didn't really start writing it until late in the month and it took me a couple of weeks into December to complete it. I hope to edit that story within the next few months, once my series is more stabilized and the state stories are just being plucked up by my illustrator for layout and all, and publish it.

So how does one go about finding ideas to write at the frenzied pace of 1667 words a day? Ideas are everywhere and as long as you have the burning desire to meet the challenge, you can accomplish this task with very few problems.

Some folks start planning several months ahead by outlining and developing characters and scenarios that they would like to see occur in their novel; some folks wait until the last minute to come up with the topic for their novel. Those who outline and plot and plan ahead of time seem to be more invested in their writing than those of us who write by-the-seat-of-our-pants. On the other hand, some very good writing has come from the "pantsers." So how do you know which is the way to go? Experiment.

I don't outline so much as I have a system for my stories. Since I do mostly short stories and there is no real plot in them, outlining wouldn't work for me. If I were to ever jump into doing a 75,000 word or more novel, I might try outlining some basic plot points. Or if the idea had been brewing for a while, I would probably do some generalized outlining. Until then, I will remain a "pantser" and am accepting of that.

If you have a couple of hours a day to spend writing, I challenge you to participate in NaNo. You can sign up at the NaNo website and take the challenge. See if you are an outliner or a pantser.

State of Wilderness, State of Quarries, State of Reservations, State of Successes (first four and in that order) are published already; State of Heights will be released within the next couple of weeks. E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series

by Elysabeth Eldering

STATE OF WILDERNESS, Book 1 of 50 now available.
STATE OF QUARRIES, book 2 of 50 now available
STATE OF RESERVATIONS, book 3 of 50 now available
STATE OF SUCCESSES, book 4 of 50 now available
STATE OF HEIGHTS, coming October 2010
STATE OF NATURE, coming January 2011
STATE OF ACCELERATION, coming February 2011


TRAIN OF CLUES, available August 2010

Member SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), Carolinas region
Member Sisters in Crime, Greenville Chapter

The Great First Impression Book Proposal:

Everything You Need to Know to Impress a Publisher in Twenty Minutes or Less
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

The Great First Impression Book Proposal is a book that all authors need to get past the gate keepers as Carolyn refers to them in her books. This book is by no means a step by step plan, but it does give you the basics for publishing your book.

The publishing industry has changed. In today’s environment, more is placed on the author to make a good impression on agents, editor, and publishers if they want to get their manuscript published.

The first impression is all you have to get the attention of those that hold the publishing purse strings. If you do not create something of value for their time and effort in your first impression your chances of becoming a published diminish greatly.

Carolyn’s The Great First Impression Book Proposal while not guaranteeing publishing does offer things that will aid you in the possibility of becoming published.

The Great First Impression Book Proposal is another in a series of pamphlets about various aspects of writing, editing, and publishing.

This is a book that anyone considering writing for publication should read all of Carolyn’s pamphlets about writing. Some may feel that they know the information in Carolyn’s pamphlets, they are still a good source of information and review of what authors need to know about getting past the gate keepers.

This reviewer awards four out of five stars for The Great Impression Book proposal by Carolyn Howard-Johnson.

This reviewer read a complementary copy sent to me by Carolyn at my request. This reviewer offers only unbiased reviews based on the quality of the book.

Defy Gravity: Propel Your Business to High Velocity Growth

By Rebel Brown

Rebel is a good name for the author of this book because it is about being a rebel if your thinking about business and the status quo (doing things in the same old way either because it is comfortable, or your reports are not doing what they should).

The concept of Defy Gravity and the accompanying work book help to create a plan that help businesses to look at their position in a different light, thereby creating a plan to move forward instead of staying where it is (status quo) and move it into a soaring position.

Rebel advices businesses, mangers, and executives on taking their business out of the gravity pit hold them down to crash and burn or soar to new heights. The book and associated workbook are what you need. Rebel has been advising for years. She has helped numerous individuals and businesses succeed in breaking free from gravity and soar in a new found freedom of expanded growth. To move forward by looking at where they are in a fresh way that truly assists them in new thinking in the way they look at there business.

As an executive, manager or business owner are you happy with your results? Can they be better? Defy Gravity and the associated workbook might be the answer to creating a new product stream or to enhance your results reports to reflect a more valuable picture of your business so more informed decisions can be made to guide the business into flying as Rebel Brown puts it.

This reviewer awards four out of five stars to Defy Gravity by Rebel Brown.

This reviewer received a complementary copy of Defy Gravity and the associated workbook for review. This in no way influenced my review for this book. All reviews by this reviewer are unbiased and are based solely on the quality of the book alone.