When I say I just finished my first novel, what I mean to say, is that I just finished my first ever attempt at writing a novel. While writing has always been easy for me, I don’t have an English degree, I don’t write for a journal or magazine, nothing, zip, zilch. Besides my amateur blog, I have no professional writing experience.
That being said, I can claim myself as an official “PANTSER”. I wrote my novel literally by the seat of my pants, so they say, with no direction or education as to how it is done. It is a miracle, and I mean miracle, that I completed a novel that has a plot, an antagonist, a protagonist, a struggle, and so on…
Yes, I had an outline. It was very simple. Since, I was learning how to write a novel as I went along, it is no wonder this novel took me TWO YEARS to finish. I started and restarted so many times. I had to rewrite half the book. I wrote myself into a corner repeatedly and I almost gave up. Almost.
Now that my first novel is behind me, I have decided to do it again. I either really loved the process or I really love torturing myself, I haven’t decided yet.
I was listening to a new Podcast, Author Like a Boss, and one of the guests, Author J. E. Schmidt, recommended an outlining book called, TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS by Libbie Hawker. The title caught my attention so I decided to give it a try.
Y’all, this book is so awesome! For my second novel I had plenty of ideas floating around in my head. They were all suspended with no real place or direction. Outlining them all down was terrifying me and I was hesitating to get started.
I decided to read TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS while outlining my second novel, and WOW, it was super easy! I read the book, which takes you step by step through the portions of the outline, and my novel appeared before my eyes like magic. It has a strong, compelling story line, great characters, purpose. All that’s left to do is write all the words, that’s the easy part!
With this outline I am confident I can write my next novel in less than two years, HAHA. No seriously, I think I can realistically write this next book in maybe 3-6 months!
The author, Libbie Hawker, is a genius. She broke down the outlining process to be super easy and functional. If you are struggling with your book as I did with my first one, or if you have ideas but not sure if they are whole, get this book and start outlining!
The book is small and you can get through it in a couple of hours.
Have you already read TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS? Let me know what you think!! I would love to hear your feedback in the comments.
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