Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weekly Progress Report - 10.25.11 - Outlining

Since I'm now posting on Tuesdays only, I plan to use my weekly post to give my progress report and talk about the various stages of writing a new book as I go through them. As I said last week, I've finished the outline of my new wip and have moved on to writing the rough draft, which I am very, very happy about! But this week I'm going to take a step back and talk about outlining.

I start an outline by figuring out my main storyline, as well as all my subplots and layers. I figure out the plot structure for each of these storylines and then write a step-by-step progression for each of them. Then comes merging it all together so it makes some sort of sense. The way I do that is by getting as many different colors of markers as I can find and a ginormous piece of paper and writing it all down. Above is a picture of my outline for my new wip. Yes, it's a mess, but the color coding helps me see each storyline at a glance and also the story as a whole.

If you're an outliner, how do you outline? Do you use a chart like mine? Any tips to share?

If you're not an outliner, do you have some method of keeping track of the storylines as you go through your rough draft? Or do you make an outline after the rough draft is complete to use for future drafts?

Check out some more great progress this week by other Writer Support 4U members:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I have a winner to announce today! Thanks to everyone who commented on my previous post spotlighting With a Name like Love, the debut novel of author Tess Hilmo. And the winner of her very own copy of With a Name like Love is Anne Kenny! Congratulations, Anne!

And once again I am changing my blogging schedule. The good news is that I'm finally done outlining my newest wip! (((throws confetti))) I've started working on the rough draft and it feels soooo good to be writing again! But my goal is a scene a day, and that's taking up most of my free time. So from now on, aside from the occasional blogfest or special blogging event, I'll be posting only on Tuesdays to make more time for rough-drafting. Don't you just hate when writing gets in the way of blogging? :)

So, how's your writing coming? What are you working on right now?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kick A** 2011 Debut Author Spotlight - Tess Hilmo: With A Name Like Love

Today I'm joining several other bloggers in spotlighting a 2011 debut author. To see the others, click here.

I've chosen to spotlight Tess Hilmo. Tess's debut novel, With a Name like Love, launched just a couple of weeks ago. Tess's writing is beautiful and her characters are amazingly vivid. There are five daughters in the Love family, and I am certain I could identify any one of them just by a line of dialogue. The language is rich and descriptive; the plot is full of mystery and tension. I don't normally read MG or historical, but I loved every minute of this incredible book.

To celebrate the release, I've asked Tess to join us today for a short interview.
When did you first get the idea for With a Name Like Love?
1. With a Name Like Love came from an original song I had written titled Lead Me On. It is patterned after the classic Southern spritiuals, written in a pentatonic scale. I adore those old classic songs! Anyway, my mom heard the song and said, "You should write a story to go with that song." This novel is that story. The song is even featured in it and is the background music in my trailer!
How long did the process take from idea to publication?
2. Five months from idea to first draft. Another year of revisions. Two months of submissions to agents. One month of edits with agent. Four months of submissions to publishers. Twenty two months from contract with publisher to pub date. So, let's do the math: 5+12+2+1+4+22 = 41 months or just about 3 1/2 years! (But I've been trying at this whole process for a total of 9 years)
What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors?
3. Believe! Endeavor! Endure!
If you were stranded on a desert island with only one book, what book would it be?
4. Easy peasy. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. That novel started my love affair with historical fiction.

Thanks for visiting with us today, Tess! And because a book like this is too good not to share, I'm giving away a copy of With a Name like Love! To enter, just leave a comment and include your email address so I can notify you if you win.

Have you read any debut 2011 authors? Which one(s)?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Today I'm participating in Teaser Tuesday. This weekly meme is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

The rules:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser today is from page 13 of With a Name like Love by Tess Hilmo:
"As she passed by, the shop woman muttered, 'If'n you're asking me, I'd say you were looking for a mess of trouble invitin' that Koppel boy to your celebration. He'll bring bad luck upon you and your whole clan - plus shoo us good people away."

I'm going to be taking a short blog break while my kids are on fall break from school. Next week I'll post on Monday and Thursday instead of my usual Tuesday/Thursday schedule. Have a great week, everyone! And if you have a teaser to share, I'd love to hear it!