More Outline Progress and Blog Awards

I’ve written four books now, but my writing process continues to evolve. As most of you know, I’m currently working on the outline for my 5th book, Full Throttle. For the last one, I wrote all my plot points on 3 x 5 cards, using different colored cards for each subplot. I then got down on the floor and organized the cards, making sure I didn’t have too much of any one color in any spot. The problem was, I hand wrote everything, and a blind chimp scratching in the sand with a stick could print more legibly than me. So this time, after getting the majority of my plot points together, I created a Word document with two columns, made the columns as wide as I could, then printed it out. I cut each bullet-pointed item apart and glued it on a separate 3 x 5 card, once again using different colors for each subplot. Of course I’ll have more plot points to add as I begin organizing this into an outline, but I can print those out later. The important thing is I can actually read this. And, of course, it took less time.



I’m really excited because so many things are coming together in ways I hadn’t imagined, with one idea doing double duty in another subplot. How cool is that? My goal was to have the on-the-floor part of this complete before my surgery, but then I got out a card table and spread everything out on that. Because those wily kitties must explore every new surface, I cover the cards with big books when I’m not working with them. I don’t want cats rearranging my plot. Then again, they might come up with something brilliant.



On another note, several weeks ago (maybe months, it all blurs together lately) I was given a blog award by Amy K. Nichols. Amy’s blog is something I’ve discovered recently, and man, this girl can write. You’ve got to check out some of the things she’s come up with from prompts, like Gordita.

According to the rules of this award, I’m supposed to pass it on to the writers of ten new blogs I’ve discovered. Well, seriously, when I am I going to find time to discover ten new blogs? But I have come across three over the past few months, and I’d like to share them with you.

Charlie of Boyintree bills himself as a teen who likes to write. He doesn’t aspire to be an author, but his prose is so poignant and poetic that he definitely could be one. I especially like the details and raw emotion he incorporates into his writing. His passion is dance.

Kaia, who provides you with your weekly dose of awesomeness, is my friends’ daughter. She just started her blog a few months ago. Be sure to read the first chapter of a story she’s writing. It’s totally awesome. Very impressive for a girl who just turned 11.

Rachele, who bills herself as frecklehead, is my “submission sister” and is also represented by my agent, Lina Scion. She’s a high school English teacher who instills a passion for reading in her kids. Somehow she manages to write a blog post every day, in spite of her very demanding job. Rachele’s blog explores various aspects of writing and being on submission.

I’d like to give honor Stina, too, but she’s already won this particular award. And about a million others, which doesn’t surprise me because her blog on writing and photography is totally cool.

I hope you’ll check out all these blogs. They’re definitely worth taking a look at.

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16 Responses to More Outline Progress and Blog Awards

  1. Thank you, Lisa, for the shout out and the compliment. You are so awesome!


  2. Elisabeth Miles says:

    I think one of the most fun parts of writing is when something you didn’t plan ahead on come in and fits perfectly, like it was ordained from the beginning.


  3. Roxie says:

    Loki is clearly complaining about how mean you are and how you thwart all his creative efforts!

    Your organized planning scares me spitless. I SO don’t want to do that! I’d rather re-write every chapter three times.

    Congrats on the award. You deserve it!

    So how’s the knee?


  4. Charlie says:

    Thanks for the award and sweet mention, Lisa. I’ll check out those other blogs. When’s your surgery? I hope it goes well. Wow, you are amazingly organized when you write, maybe it’s the landscaper in you 🙂


  5. Lisa Nowak says:

    Amy, you’re absolutely awesome, too. Thanks for the award. I’m sorry it took me so long to post it.

    Beth, I totally agree.

    Roxie, you’re probably right about Loki. Interesting that the outlining is so distasteful to you. It actually gives me a sense of control and comfort.

    Charlie, you’re quite welcome, and my surgery is Wednesday the 21st. I hope to post again before then, but I’ve got a lot to do.


  6. Helen Wand says:

    Love the cats! AND the idea. I’m so impressed. Your fifth book! Wow! Good luck with your surgery. I’ll be sending you great positive energy.


  7. Elisabeth Miles says:

    Me too. Positive energy coming at you in bundles. And I’m totally convinced that rehab is the key to recovery. I h ate exercise, but I did my rehab.


  8. Lisa Nowak says:

    Thanks, Helen and Beth!


  9. Alice Lynn says:

    You win, hands down, in awesomeness and staying power! Your productivity is astounding especially when you consider how much energy you put into your landscaping, your many other projects that involve helping others, and, of course, your astonishingly beautiful parties! I wonder if there’s an all-around award we could give you!


  10. Lisa Nowak says:

    Stop, Alice, my head is big enough already! Just ask my husband. 🙂


  11. Thanks so much for the blog award! I’m not sure how I manage to blog every day…phew! I’m so jealous of your ability to outline….I need to do something like that. Maybe I’ll force myself to look at my new novel in that way. I’m stuck right now, and I bet it would benefit it a lot to outline it all. I won’t have any cats helping me, though!


  12. I know you’ll laugh when I tell you I’ve dipped my toe in the outlining pool! Yes, it’s true. Not the whole book, but chapters. It’s helping me keep track of plot threads and the emotional arc of my characters.

    I do use plot cards, but mine come when the first draft is done and I need to see the book as a whole. If ever I decide to embrace outlining 100%, though, I sure know who my role model will be. 🙂


  13. Lisa Nowak says:

    Rachele, I guess we both have our strengths and weaknesses, eh? Funny how we admire each other for the things we aren’t so good at, ourselves.

    Chris, bwa ha ha ha ha! I’m slowly converting you! I guess I’m just such a control freak that I like being able to see a clear map of my book.


  14. Thanks for the award. 😀

    You’re so sweet!


  15. Lisa Nowak says:

    Stina, you certainly deserve the award. You’ve got a great blog.


  16. I so need to figure out outlining. I’m not sure cards are the way to go for me. I need something more abstract, I think. Just the fact that I’m thinking in scenes is a miracle.

    But great concept — and congrats on your award. 🙂


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