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  • MM Shelley

A Little Thought Goes A Long Way



When I start working on one of my books, I first have to create my outline. I know with my laid-back attitude, you’d probably take me for a panster, which is someone who ‘fly’s by the seat of their pants’ but alas, no. I look forward to opening up a notebook or grabbing a sheet of paper along with a gel pen, usually one with pink ink, and then I’ll begin plotting.

I’m never sure how I’m going to begin the first sentence, and this part is the most difficult for me. The first few chapters in any story are probably the most important as those are the words that will capture the readers' attention and imagination. What I find works best for me is just to write down what comes to mind and go back and re-work it, and nine times out of ten, those words are night and day. But it helps to have something to start with, so I don’t get caught up in the ‘How it’ll begin’ and just let my story flow naturally. 

Having an outline also keeps my story on track, and it helps avoid the dreaded writer's block. I’m also one of those writers that write from beginning to end. I don’t jump around to different parts of the book because I found that it doesn’t work for me. But we are all different writers, and we have to find the technique that’s best for us, and I know plenty of writers who prefer this method. 

Lately, I invested in planners and organizers to keep my outlines and characters list and development charts. I used to use notebooks to keep my notes, post-it's, and sheets of paper together, but now that I’m writing full time, I developed better habits! I just started using Campfire Pro and Worldbuilding pack, which is a fun and great way of keeping track of my characters and settings, tone, and overall what you’d call a ‘Series Bible.’ I just started using this and will keep you updated on how I like it and how it works. 

Well, I better get back to the story I’m currently working on. It’s a Historical Fantasy and book 2 in a brand-new series from me. I hope to be finished with this second book by the end of this month, and then I’ll start the second draft (maybe a 3rd before sending it over to my editor).  

I hope you all have a great week!

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