The Fast Draft Part One: Write Your Outline In One Day!

6:00 PM

Readers don't wanna wait a year for a book anymore. We're in the day of the Kindle and ebooks. People literally have millions of books at their fingertips. Not only that, readers are finishing books at a rapid pace. I know a hardcore reader that can read up to twelve books in a weekend. Yes, you read that right. The lady will read 12 BOOKS in a WEEKEND!

I was talking that book talk with one of my ladies in The Powder Room and she was saying that she really wants to learn how she can be faster with her writing. I myself have struggled with the same thing. After going through my own experience and studying the subject,  I've come up with the perfect formula to write a book in 30 days starting with getting an outline on paper in just one day. I talked about this on Periscope (Follow me HERE!) and got an amazing response. A few of my Powder Room ladies missed it so I promised them a blog post about it. Ready to outline your novel in just one day's time? Read below...

  1. A main character you love. When crafting your main character you want to do a character sketch. A character sketch is a summary of what your character is about. Be sure to make your character human with real feelings and flaws. They should have something they're fighting for and/or something they need to overcome in your novel. In my character sketches I like to include physical appearance, personality traits, background story, occupation, zodiac sign and a few other things. You can include whatever you like as long as you have something you can go to as a guide. You want to keep the details of your character consistent throughout the story. Readers will notice if your character's a vegan in the beginning of the book but you have a scene later along the line where she's enjoying a juicy steak. 
  2. Start with the ending. Writing a book is like taking a road trip and the outline is your map. You can't go somewhere if you have no idea where you're going in the first place. Knowing how you want your book to end will help you immensely as you write. When you get stuck in the plot you'll have a better idea of what needs to happen to move your story forward. Your ending doesn't have to be super detailed so don't stress over it. If you know you want your main character to live happily ever after with the love of his life, that will be enough. 
  3. Location, location, location! Your outline should include the main location where your story takes place. City/State, year, and season should suffice. If you are creating an imaginary world then you need to flesh out the history and details of that place. As you write, keep a list of the places where your scenes take place. You may need to reference this as you do edits. 
  4. Now for the beginning... When you craft your opening scene you want to think of an interesting way to introduce your main character. Avoid a boring opening scene at all costs. This is what will make or break your story. If you don't grab a reader from the beginning, more than likely, they won't finish your book. As with your ending, this doesn't have to be super detailed. During the outline stage a paragraph or two summarizing what will happen should do. 

Take a day or so to work through these steps. After you're done, take another day to think about it and add any fresh ideas that come to mind. After that, you're ready to start writing! Stay tuned for the next post in the Fast Draft series where we'll talk about the tips and tricks to actually writing the novel. 
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And don't forget to join myself and a group of amazing women writers of color in The Powder Room For Writers. 

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