I can’t believe my last post was January 5, 2014!!

When I write a novel, I spend a lot of time developing my characters and outlining relevant plot points. This is important because Act II often puts me in a muddle and leaves me feeling as though I am adrift at sea, alone and with no help in sight. Anything can be fixed during the editing process, but my goal is to identify and plug plot holes during the outlining process. A tight outline allows me to close my eyes, run the film in my head and serve as my own amanuensis. I have a discovered a new way of doing things, thanks to a fabulous book I have found. I highly recommend “Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success” by K.M. Weiland. This book is simple and straightforward, chock full of good ideas and sound advice. Ms. Weiland has me outlining my story longhand — I’m talking old school here, peeps.  I’m loving it! My story is gelling and the pen-to-paper ritual has enriched my experience immensely. The downside, of course, is the extra time it takes. To my mind, so far, this extra time is well spent if my outline is indeed more cohesive. So I will keep you posted as to how this new way of doing things unfolds.

Oh, and I should mention that I’m doing the writing with a fountain pen, so at the end of the day, I’ve got ink on my fingers. If that doesn’t make me a writer, nothing does.

This style of writing has effectively pulled me away from the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and the accompanying distractions. I’m not knocking social media and admit that Facebook and Twitter are fabulous ways to connect with other writers and — most importantly — readers. But it’s nice to be unplugged for a while. It’s nice to just focus on story, on the trials and exploits of the make believe people that inhabit my world. And at the end of the day, it’s all the same — an author hopes and prays that the muse will bless her with a good story. This writer is willing to try anything to get there.

Any old school pen-to-paper writers out there? Would love to hear from you.

Have a good week, y’all.




  1. Writing longhand is awesome, but I don’t do it much anymore because typing is easier on my bad shoulder. I press too hard when I use a pen and it causes problems, so—! There is something very basic about putting pen to paper that feels good, though. It’s been a long time since I’ve found ink on my fingers. Maybe I’ll try just a few paragraphs a day going forward, in a show of solidarity for my CP. 🙂

    I will definitely check out the book you recommended. If you’ve found it worthwhile, then I’ve no doubt that I will also. Thanks for the info.

  2. Terry Lynn says:

    Here’s to you having some ink on your fingers! Also, Karen’s website is helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com. Check it out.