Friday, November 2, 2012

Author Guest Post: Rachel Roberts: Avalon series

Rachel Roberts- Rachels Writing Tips

Greetings, inspired writer mages! Every story, no matter how long, needs a beginning, a middle and an end. But how do you figure out what's in between? To answer that question, it's time to move one to the next step and write an outline.
Why do I need an outline? Before embarking on a journey every traveler needs a map to avoid getting lost. An outline is a story map that makes sure you've really thought about everything that's going to happen. That way, when you leave your hero dangling off a cliff and about to be eaten by a monster, you won't be scratching your head thinking, "Now what?" If you lose your way, consult your outline, and then your characters can get on with the story. 

Don't plan on writing a epic! You've got big ideas and you feel like you could write hundreds of pages! But it's better to plan on something manageable that you know you'll be able to finish. Each Avalon book is approximately 20 chapters, and that keeps the story moving along at a good, quick pace, even if there are a lot of things going on. It doesn't matter if your story is two pages or two hundred--just be sure you set a reasonable goal that keeps your story focused.

Chapters: You might have written a paragraph that summarizes your story. That's great! Now it's time to break that summary into chapters. (If your writing a story that's going to be a few pages, think of each scene as a chapter.) Don't worry if you can't think of something for every chapter right away. The important thing is to write down every story element in the right order. What you want are short paragraphs that explain what's important in each chapter. What does it do to move the story along, and what does it say about your characters? Here's an example from Cry of the Wolf
Chapter 1: Storm and Adriane test the limits of their magic as they run through the forests of Ravenwoods. Reinforce the bond of friendship between Storm and Adrienne--they are a team, best friends, and can't imagine working magic without each other.
Chapter 2: Ravenswood portal opens and new mistwolves appear. Storm realizes she is not the only mistwolf-there is a whole pack living on Aldenmor. The pack leader commands Storm to join the pack. Knowing Storm must reconnect with her lost packmates, Adriane says goodbye.
Chapter 3: Adriane is sad and worried about Storm. She gets Emily and Kara to help her open the portal so she can try to contact Storm. Something grabs onto Adriane's magic and pulls her into the portal and vanishes.

Does my story work? Think of your story as a big giant puzzle. If you feel like the peicess of your story don't fit together like they should, try writing each chapter summary on an index card. Now that everything is laid out in front of you, try moving the index cards around. Would it be more suspenseful if a daring rescue happened later?

Filling out the chapters: Now it's time to start expanding. Review the ideas you've been jotting down and put everything you want to use in the right chapter. If a great line of dialogue or a cool description pops into your head, put that in your outline too. This is where ideas really start flowing, where you add details to move your story along, develop your characters, and make suspense so your readers can't wait to turn the page.
Making an outline does take time and effort, but it's an important foundation that makes the writing flow  much more smoothly. :)

Your fellow writer mage, Rachel

Now for a giveaway? I'll be posting it as soon as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments! Leave me one, and I will comment back either on here or on yours! So check back!

Happy Reading and Blogging, Ashley

I Had to turn on word verification. Sorry! I'm tired of getting spam.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...