How To OUTLINE YOUR NOVEL Without Losing Your Inspiration, Drive, and Sanity! (Plus: The Only Character Questionnaire You’ll EVER NEED)


It’s October and you know what that means: NaNoWriMo prep! If you’re thinking about taking on this daunting challenge of writing 50k words of your novel in the month of November, GOOD FOR YOU. But have you written an outline? And if not...should you write an outline? How do you write an outline, anyway? 


Today we’re going to answer these questions. Because unless you’re a panster* you probably don’t want to go into NaNoWriMo totally blind. I’m a hardcore plotter and know through trial and error that I can write better, faster, and more efficiently if I have a detailed outline to follow. THAT’S JUST ME and outlines don’t work for everyone. Which leads me to my HUGE DISCLAIMER: 

I am wholeheartedly against “one size fits all” methods of writing. Why? Because every writer is different! I’ve never found a specific method of writing, outlining, plotting, or DOING ANYTHING REALLY that works perfectly for me. Every writer’s methods are based on what suits THEM the best. Which is why this post is not so much “DO IT THIS WAY” as it is simply a guide for those of you who are ripping your hair out because there is SO! MUCH! OUTLINING! ADVICE! If you’re anything like me, you get overwhelmed when everyone points you in different directions.  

Which is why it’s so important to find YOUR OWN way of doing things. This post isn’t about changing your story to fit a certain structure deemed good by another author – it’s about giving you a little bit of guidance so that you don’t lose your inspiration, drive, and sanity while outlining your novel. ALSO I HAVE A SPECIAL THING FOR YOU AT THE END OF THIS POST: a character questionnaire to put all other character questionnaires to death!!!!!!1 Let’s go!! 

*it must be so adventurous and fun wow teach me your wayz 




STEP #1: BRAIN DUMP


If there is one thing that I could magically convince every writer under the sun to do, it would be to WRITE DOWN EVERY SINGLE IDEA YOU EVER HAVE. Because you’ll forget at least some of them! What do you have to lose by brain-dumping your ideas in a secret hiding place for later? I’m amazed by how many times I return to my document of ideas and surprise myself with a really great thought I had that I TOTALLY FORGOT. But maybe this is just me??? Maybe you all are literal elephants????? 
  
Either way, every outline begins with IDEAS. And the way I prefer to outline is NOT put my ideas in linear order (or any order at all hahaha) but instead just BRAIN DUMP EVERYTHING AS IT COMES TO ME. Yes, this makes a little more work in the long run, but if I have to think about where the idea fits into the rest of the story, then I LOSE THE THOUGHT. I forget. Or I’m just less motivated to write it down. I’M EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE OK. 
  
But this is just me. Maybe your ideas come to you in linear order. Maybe you see your entire book in your head, start to finish, like a movie. If that’s the case, then just skip the next step because YOU GOT DIS ALL DAY BRO. 





STEP #2: CHAPTER-TIZE


Here’s where the fun part comes in: putting everything in its proper place. And unfortunately, it’s not at all like Mary Poppins.  


This is the part where I take my jumbled mess of ideas and sort them into chapters. It’s kind of like those puzzles where you have to rearrange the pictures to go in the correct order. Once I know the beginning and the end of my story, it’s usually pretty obvious where each scene should go. Then, if I have some leftover scenes that can go virtually anywhere, I’ll set those aside for any gaps that feel like they need SOMETHING MORE.  

For my NaNoWriMo novel this year, I’m not being too strict about chapters. I did lay out everything in a chapter-like outline, but I’m kind of experimenting with what I call “unpredictable chapters” – one might be fifteen pages and the next might be two paragraphs, WE SHALL SEE. I’ve read several books like this recently and I LOVE THIS STYLE. SO MUCH. 

Anyway, MOVING RIGHT ALONG... 






STEP #3: MAKE YOUR NOTES ACTUALLY UNDERSTANDABLE


This is the part where I take my jumbled mess of an outline and make it actually understandable. Depending on how you write, this might not even apply to you. But for me, IT’S REALLY NECESSARY. Because my notes usually repeat themselves and look something like this:  

ALSO ALSO I want Miley and George to go swimming at some point….maybe there’s like a lake or something??? And it’s all golden and wholesome and summer-y. BUT BEFORE THAT HAPPENS Miley has to tell him how she really feels and also somehow clear up the thing about the phone call BUT IDK HOW HAHA 


^ legit this is an accurate representation of how I write notes to myself. (Also that is just a mock-up YOU REALLY THINK I WOULD REALLY GIVE YOU A GLIMPSE INTO MY SUPER TOP SECRET NOTES? Muahahaha NO.) So I’ll take this messy idea for a chapter and turn it into something like this:  

Miley and George go swimming at the lake. As they sit on the dock, they talk about the past week and Miley decides to clear the air about the phone call incident. She tells George that she actually really likes him, despite what all their friends think. George says that he feels the same way. Miley is relieved to finally be honest with herself and with others, instead of just a people-pleaser. They jump in the lake, and it is golden and wholesome and summer-y. End of scene. 

^ SO MUCH EASIER TO UNDERSTAND. Now I have a clear idea of what exactly I’m going to sit down and write. But maybe you write clear and concise notes that need literally no revision to understand??? If so… CAN I BE YOU? 





STEP #4: PAY ATTENTION TO CAUSE AND EFFECT


Does one scene make the next scene inevitable? That’s basically all cause and effect is. Just like in real life, something happens because of the decisions preceding it. Every character has to earn what they get and pay for what they lose. Otherwise there’s no consequences to actions and the plot is just a mess of distractions and digressions.*  




But this should come naturally to you, as a human being of the good planet earth.*So don’t overthink it! Just pay attention to it. Like I said before, this isn’t about changing the plot of your story to cosmically align with another writer’s idea of a “good book” – this is about giving you a clearer sense of direction to write your story exactly how your heart desires. 
  
*KIND OF LIKE THE INNER WORKINGS OF MY BRAIN 
**unless you’re an extraterrestrial being from another planet??? but you probably still experience cause and effect so ;) 




STEP #5: EAT CHOCOLATE


THIS STEP IS SO IMPORTANT. I can’t even get past how important it is...just, wow. For the sake of your sanity, always have an endless supply of chocolate nearby. IT WILL SAVE YOUR NOVEL IT WILL SAVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS IT WILL SAVE THE WORLD (indirectly but you know.)   




STEP #6: CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Next, ask yourself: how does each chapter progress the story? This is where a lot of writers get confused and depressed because most people don’t realize that IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE JUST PHYSICAL PROGRESS. It can be emotional progress, too. In fact, I would go as far as to say that emotional progress is the most important. Plot is about what happens; but STORY is about how what happens affects the characters.  
  
Stories are emotional. That’s why books where seemingly NOTHING happens still have an emotional effect on us. In fact, sometimes those stories are the ones to most emotionally DESTROY ME FROM THE INSIDE OUT. Which just goes to show that you don’t need an epic, adventurous, intricate plot. If you have that, cool! But what matters the most is: making the reader FEEL something.
  
So is there emotional progress in each scene of your novel? Does anyone’s feelings change or move forward? Does the scene give us particular insight into the character? If not, the scene did nothing for your novel. Change it up until you get some emotional shifts happening.  
  
It’s super helpful to write the emotional changes into your chapter summaries – kind of like the snippet I shared up there. I wrote: Miley is relieved to finally be honest with herself and with others, instead of just a people-pleaser. SEE THE EMOTIONAL SHIFT HAPPENING HERE?? The plot doesn’t just move forward – the story does, too. Miley has a self-realization, which changes the outcome of the rest of the book. 







STEP #7: READ YOUR OUTLINE


Before you sit down and start transforming that outline into an actual novel, you have to make sure the story flows. Just start reading and imagine it like a movie in your head. (PRO TIP: setting your outline aside for a few days BEFORE you read it will give you a fresh look at the story as a whole.) 
  
Any major errors will jump out at you, but don’t worry about flawlessness. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. This is the first draft and there will be many revisions. During any one of those future revisions you can edit anything your heart desires. The important thing to pay attention to when you’re reading your outline is gut instinct. Don’t overthink! JUST FEEL. If it feels smooth, it probably is smooth. There is no right or wrong way to outline or write or DO ANY OF IT. Follow your gut. 





STEP #8: OH WAIT...YOU’RE DONE!

That’s all there is to it, my friend!* Outlining actually isn’t as tricky as it seems. A lot of people over-complicate it! Remember: no two writers are alike, which means you can’t be discouraged if a certain method or structure doesn’t work for you. YOU HAVE TO FIND YOUR OWN WAY OF DOING THINGS. I hope this post will serve you in all the good ways and help you to find your own style with ease. NOW GET OUT OF HERE! GO OUTLINE YOUR NOVEL! GO GO GO!! 



*that’s all there is to it, i say, after dumping 1,600 words of instructions on you




BONUS: THE ONLY CHARACTER QUESTIONNAIRE YOU’LL EVER NEED


WOOOOOT LOOK AT THAT: you made it to the end of this post!! I LOVE YOU. *tosses buttered waffles in your general direction* For being so awesome, I grant you: my top-secret character questionnaire! I put this questionnaire together because I was SUPER OVERWHELMED by the amount of character questionnaires out there!! Which questions are ACTUALLY important? Which ones will have an impact on your story? Which questions are just stupid and irrelevant??  

That’s why I curated this list for myself to use (and now for you to use!) including all the important questions and weeding out the lousy ones… and LET ME TELL YOU: THIS WORKS REALLY WELL. Just trust my magical genius and grab your copy would ya: 



 DOWNLOAD PDF


TALK, BRO

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? AND ARE YOU FREAKING OUT?? Because I kind of am not gonna lie. How do YOU outline your novels? Do you have a specific method you always stick to? Do you have unpopular opinions like me and agree that we should STOP TELLING WRITERS HOW TO WRITE and instead guide them in the right direction and let them find their own way??? ALSO: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WRITING SNACK? Because I didn’t talk about food NEARLY ENOUGH in this post. 
  
rock on, 
abbiee 

58 comments

  1. Loved this, Abbiee! I'm the complete opposite, LOL, and like my notes in order, but some times that doesn't happen and it's a jumbled mess. Oh well. XD

    Thanks for your insight! Btw I know this sounds weird, but I actually find it comforting that a KICK-BUTT (!!!) writer like you writes notes like that 'cause mine are EXACTLY THE SAME OMW. At least I'm somewhat normal then??

    Btw sorry if this seems really weird... I read your posts all the time and LOVE THEM (!!!) but am bad at commenting. Hopefully I can change that now! :) <3

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    1. Oh, and I tried to get the character questionnaire, but I'm already subscribed and it won't let me get it.

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    2. @ EMILY AND CHARIS RAE: I'm so sorry for the inconvenience! I'm still working out some teething problems with these bonus content things... *NERVOUS LAUGHTER* if you're already subscribed, the post went to your email with a direct download to the PDF but tbh I don't like how it works so: YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE QUESTIONNAIRE RIGHT HERE. Sorry about that!! :")

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    3. @ CHARIS RAE: Thank you so much!!! I'm so happy you liked the post. <3 kfjalskdjal I'M TOTALLY HONORED THAT YOU THINK I'M A KICK-BUTT WRITER THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY WOW *so many hugs* I'm so happy you love my blog!! THIS COMMENT JUST BRIGHTENED MY DAY.

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    4. AW You're welcome dearie! <33 And thanks for the questionnaire! It's so helpful, thank you so much! <3

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    5. EEEP YAY I'M GLAD IT WORKED THIS TIME HAHA :')

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    6. Hooray! Btw how do you get your comment to be bold? Is that html or something? SHARE YOUR SECRETS PLZ. :')

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    7. Yep! It's a small piece of code. you basically just put bold tags at the beginning and end of the text that you want to bold, like so:

      < b > TEXT GOES HERE < / b >

      (except without the spaces obviously. haha) You can also do this for italics, just replace the "b" with "i" . I like to bold my comments on my posts so that it's easier to see what I answered and what I didn't get to yet. ;)

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    8. Thank you, dear! (testing to see if it works, LOL.)

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  2. Abbiee, I was so excited to get your character questionnaire cuz I've never done one, but when I clicked on it, it made me put in my email again (I'm already subscribed) and then said you're already subscribed. I can't get your questionnaire :( So sorry thisn't a comment about your wonderful post....

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    1. WAAAAH I'M SO MAD AT THIS THING HAHA I'm still working out some problems with the bonus content stuff. *sobs into a pillow* if you're already subscribed, the post went to your email with a direct download to the PDF....but I'm working on making it not so confusing in future!! For now, you can download the questionnaire by clicking here. Sorry for the hassle!!! :'''')

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  3. I can't wait to begin your character questionnaire (I love questionaires and surveys and stuff is that odd?) This step-by-step was incredibly useful; when I outline, I separate everything into different word docs, so for example on word doc would be called "Backstories" and then the next would be "Settings", etc. Also, I use Paint (like the literal dinosaur I am) to create a Plot Tree, which is basically a line going down the page with your entire plot attatched to the branches of this "tree". Thanks for this post, and I've actually never done NaNo but I AM in the process of outlining my new WIP, so this post couldn't have come at a better time. THANK YOU ABBIEE!

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    1. YOU'RE NOT ODD AT ALL I LOVE QUESTIONNAIRES TOO <3 but maybe we're both odd?? ;) EEEP I'M SO HAPPY THIS POST WAS WELL-TIMED AND HELPFUL!! *hugs* oooh that plot tree sounds super helpful!! Yeah I use Scrivener for all my books now and OMG IT IS SO GREAT because all my notes and manuscript and research and outline and EVERYTHING is in one place. :') that gives me great comfort haha xD I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKED THIS POST GAH THANK YOU FOR READING DEAR <333

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  4. NO! It won't let me get the character questionnaire!! It says I'm already subscribed and I'm like "Uhhhh...yeah!" but then it won't let me keep going and I'm like NOOOOO.
    But great post, hopefully we can figure out the thingie so that I can download it because now I'm super pumped!!! Also, I totally love chocolate. Especially chocolate caramels for writing. <3 <3 And I need some real big help for my novel right now so ARGH.

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    1. GAH I'M SO SORRY FOR THIS INCONVENIENCE *screams into a pillow* I'm having some teething problems with MailChimp at the moment... :') BUT HERE IS THE LINK TO DOWNLOAD THE QUESTIONNAIRE: CLICK HERE. I'm so happy you liked this post, Amelia Ruth!!! YOU'RE THE BEST ^.^ omg yes chocolate caramels always thankyouverymuch <3 <3 <3 GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR NOVEL!! And again, I'm so sorry about the email thing! ugh! xD

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    2. Hahahaa, no worries! I saw the other comments up there and I looked at mine and I was like 'Ahhh, I'm sorry for repeating that complaint when others have already done it!!' but you're being super sweet about it. <3 <3 <3 I just really wanted to read it because I love my characters so much.
      Awwwwww you're so sweet!! CHOCOLATE LOVERS UNITE!!!

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    3. EEEP THANK YOU AMELIA <3 you're all good, no worries! ;)

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  5. THIS IS PERFECT! I've never actually done NaNo before, but I'm hoping to in the spring. I've seen so many different methods of plotting/outlining, and this is by far the most understandable. I love the brain dump, because I do not have the memory of an elephant. Plus, it would be so nice to have all of your ideas in one place. By the way, did you get my email by any chance?

    ~ Ella Marie | February Fairy

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    1. EEEEP THANK YOU SO MUCH ELLA MARIE. <3 the brain dump thing is SO SO HELPFUL omg I can't imagine not doing it haha... FJHSLFKJA LEGIT SO HONORED THAT YOU THINK THIS IS THE MOST UNDERSTANDABLE METHOD OF OUTLINING BECAUSE I WAS WORRIED IT WOULDN'T MAKE SENSE. XD Oh and thank you for reminding me about the email!! I just replied to it. ;)

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  6. BLESS YOU HEART FOR THAT GIVEAWAY AND THIS IS LITERALLY HOW I DO MY NOVELS, I am as RANDOM as it gets...which is why I never finish lolol but someday... *crickets*

    ANYWAY THIS POST IS AS BIG OF A BLESSING AS YOU ARE ABIEE <333 Thank you! xxx

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    1. YOUR COMMENT JUST BRIGHTENED MY DAY x100000000 :’) thank you, Anna!! I can definitely relate... XD It's so much more fun to just start projects?? WHY IS THAT. *laughs nervously into a pillow* THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!!

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  7. LOVED THIS POST, ABBIE!!!! <3333 I've thought about doing Nano before, but I haven't done it yet. Maybe sometime in the future I'll try it.
    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE CHARACTER QUESTIONNAIRE!!!! I'm DEFINITELY going to use it!! Thanks! *hugs*

    - Maddy | littlebitofsunshineweb.blogspot.com

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    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH MADDY <3 I'm so happy you enjoyed this post!! And yes you should totally try doing NaNo sometime! IT'S SUPER STRESSFUL HAHA but outlines definitely make it better so ;) GAH SO GLAD YOU LIKE THE QUESTIONNAIRE TOO !! Thank you for reading, dear! <3

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  8. OMG I'm not a plotter at all, but now I'm suddenly super inspired to go plot my book??? And like I'll be happy and excited about it??? You're a miracle worker.
    And I'm also super excited about this questionnaire YOU'RE JUST PERFECT OK BYE ILY

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    1. WHOA THIS IS AMAZING DID I JUST CONVERT A PANTSER INTO A PLOTTER??? *screams of joy and much confetti and waffles* Honestly, plotting and outlining is like my favorite part of the writing process. :') IT'S SO MUCH FUN MAKING A PLAN HAHA <3 kfjslfkjsakdlhaLDFJ SO GLAD YOU LIKE THE QUESTIONNAIRE OMG YOUR'E TOO KIND STAHP *hugs*

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  9. LOVE IT ABBIEE. <3 <3 <3

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    1. SKGJLSFJKAJF <3 <3 <3 THANK YOU

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  10. ABBIEEEEE have you been spying on me??? I have needed this so much!! I am not doing NaNo, but I am in the middle of outlining two novels (oh yeah its totally easy hehe XP[not]). So I will definitely take your tips and use your questionnaire, it looks so cool!
    Thank you for this post! *sends you waffles fresh out of the maker (steaming hot) with syrup dripping from them and butter soaking in delectably* (I love waffles too!!!)

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    1. YES MUAHAHA I HAVE BEEN SECRETLY WATCHING YOU FROM THE SHADOWS... O_o LOL THANK YOU SO MUCH! omg you have XP??? I MISS XP SO MUCH AHAHA my mom used to have one and it was like the best computer ever :') I'M SO HAPPY YOU LIKE THIS POST AND THE QUESTIONNAIRE AND GKLJSLAKDJD NOW I'M REALLY HUNGRY FOR WAFFLES GAH <333

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  11. The eating chocolate part is definitely one of the most important in this process. ;D

    I'm generally not a thorough outliner (except sometimes when I'm working on later drafts), so half my outlining process is writing question marks all over the notes and trying to remember what I meant with the stuff I wrote down. It's super professional. ;P But I really admire writers who can create detailed outlines before they start their novel!

    I love seeing the different processes writers have for writing their books! Writing really is about finding what works for you, and just figuring out what fits your process and what doesn't.

    Best NaNo wishes!

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    1. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF CHOCOLATE!! *stands triumphantly holding chocolate bar, superhero cape flowing* xD HAHA I CAN RELATE. There are so many question marks in my notes, it's not even funny. :'''') aw, thank you! and I really admire writers who create a masterpiece of a book without a detailed plan!! IT'S SO COOL TO SEE HOW OTHER CREATIVES WORK :) "...and just figuring out what fits your process and what doesn't." <<< AMEN PREACH IT GIRL!! best NaNo wishes to you, too!!

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  12. OOOOH!!! You know what's weird???? I kind of did something VERY like this when I outlined my new baby novel!!! Like the brain dump thing and then putting it all in order??? THAT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I DID LIKE WOW ARE WE SECRETLY TWINS OR SOMETHING. I'm actually trying out the index card method this time so we'll see how that goes/how it compares to my EPIC FAILURE of an outline last time???

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    1. GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE <3 *high fives* that method really helps so much like gah it's just perfect hahaha :') Oooh good luck with outlining! Sounds like it's gonna be epic. ;) THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING DEAR !!

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  13. GAH Abbie I love your blog so much! You always have such creative, inspiring, and useful content. I struggle so hard with outlining novels. It's literally the worst thing. I'll
    try to stick to an outline and then change the story a million times...IT'S A PROBLEM OKAY I love the idea about taking your notes and actually writing how you're going to get the story to that point.

    And the step about chocolate! Totally necessary as a writing reward. "IT WILL SAVE YOUR NOVEL IT WILL SAVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS IT WILL SAVE THE WORLD"

    ^^ Preach, sister! <3

    Also, thank you so much for bringing up emotional progress in stories! I feel like that is where my characters make their most growth. It love that books can be an emotional journey instead of just plot event after plot event. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks like this! :) Goodness, I wish I could just hug this post! <3 It was awesome and full of advice I'm definitely going to use for my NaNo novel!

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    1. EEEEP THANK YOU SO MUCH ERIN THIS COMMENT JUST MADE MY DAY :''') *hugs you and gives you waffles* mmm yes! I can definitely relate! and that method of just dumping your thoughts and rearranging them later...wow. it works so well for me. <3 CHOCOLATE IS DEFINITELY A NECESSITY. ;) haha so glad you liked that part!!

      AND YES SKLJFLKDSJF I'M SO GLAD YOU'RE WITH ME ON THE EMOTIONAL PROGRESS THING! it's something that I really haven't heard a lot of writers talk about??? WE'RE ON THE CUTTING EDGE, CLEARLY. ;) fsnkvljfs I am so glad this post was helpful to you!!! BEST OF LUCK WITH NANO.

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  14. Great post, Abbiee! =D I'm so bad with outlining, and this is very helpful! =D

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

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    1. Thank you, Micaiah!! I'M SO GLAD THIS POST WAS HELPFUL TO YOU <3333

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  15. I love this method of outlining. It's so simple and best of all it puts the writer in a position to be honest about the message/feeling she's trying to convey. Excellent work, Abbiee!

    I'm still working on my writerly process, and so far all my methods haven't worked. Hopefully this year (or next month, actually), I can find a writing groove that doesn't leave me hanging. And yes, NaNoWriMo is totally scaring me. I have no idea how it's going to go, but I'm excited to try it anyway. I only have like a week and a half to finish prepping!

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    1. YAY! I'm so happy you like this post and method of outlining! <333 your encouraging words mean so much to me. :') I totally feel ya about finding your groove...that's really what you have to do. *high fives* I KNOW I'M FREAKING OUT ABOUT NANO TOOOOO AAAGH we'll be okay though WE'RE GONNA ROCK THIS! *adjusts cool shades* thanks so much for reading, dear!!

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  16. BLOGGER ATE MY COMMENT for the second time today ... but what I wanted to tell you before it was swallowed by the abyss was that a) I stand firmly behind the brain-dumping idea and b) we actually outline in a very similar way?? Very cool. All the best next month!! Can't wait to hear all about it!

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    1. UGH I HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS. :'( brain dumping is the best!! *high fives* and THAT'S SO COOL that we do the same kind of outlining!! eeeep I'm SO STOKED for next month. Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words, Olivia!!

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  17. The character questionnaire worked for me when I hit "already subscribed." I bookmarked that page for my NaNo characters because obviously I haven't put them through enough torture of opening up to me yet. *evil writer laugh*

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    1. YAY! I'm so glad it worked alright for you. :) hahaha have fun developing those characters!!

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    2. Yeah, I printed two copies for my main characters in my NaNoWriMo novel. ;)

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    3. EEEP THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY WOW <333

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  18. Your posts always make me smile :) I'm a pantser over here so I'm just floating blissfully in a boat at sea (but I did read the entire post). Also not planning on doing Nano...way too stressful.

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    1. NaNo is definitely super stressful *distant maniacal laughter* but way to go! that's awesome and I just have so much respect for pantsers *fist bump* thanks for reading, dude!

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  19. Thank. You. For. This.

    #bookmarked

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    1. KSLJSKAJ YOU'RE WELCOME DEAR <333

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  20. Great post, Abbiee! I'm not doing NaNoWriMo next month as I already did CampNaNoWriMo this summer. But I like your tips on outlining, particularly the brain dump because at first, I don't think linearly either! My outlining process changes a lot. I used to do chapter-by-chapter, then scene-by-scene, but now I just do basic plot points and a synopsis. Favorite writing snack: um... Tea? I don't eat while I write.

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    1. Yay!! I'm so happy you liked this post, Azelyn! :D Wow, good for you! I hope NaNoWriMo goes awesomely for ya. <3 BRAIN-DUMPING IS SOOO HELPFUL OMG. I would be lost without it haha. :') TEA IS THE BEST WRITING SNACK!! thank you so much for reading!

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  21. OH MY GOSH ABBIE I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.

    First off, I just love outlining posts more than liFE ITSELF, and you are the writing queen, so THIS WAS SO HELPFUL!!! Bless you wow.

    Second, OH MY GOSH THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT SHEET. I'm so using that. I'm plotting my NaNo novel this weekend (hopefully!), SO I'M USING ALL OF YOUR TIPS. <3<3<3

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    1. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH GRACE ANNE SDLJLFKJS *HUGS* so happy you like this post!! ahh! you floor me with your kindness wow <333 so BLESSED. :'''') yay!! I hope you enjoy the character questionnaire!! *more hugs because ur awesome*

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  22. YOU JUST SAVED MY LIFE. HOW CAN I REPAY MY DEEPEST GRATITUDE BECAUSE ASDFGHJKL THANK YOU!!! <3

    xx Kenzie

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    1. FALKJAJDLKSJ I'M SO GLAD OMG!! *HUGS FOREVER*

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  23. wonder and helpful post <3

    EXCEPT i GOT TO THIS LATE BECAUSE I SUCK AT BLOG-HOPPING RIP ME!

    I'm doing NanoWrimo and trying to re-write my whole story so RIP IT. RIP IT. I shall use the character questionnaire though!

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    1. AAAH THANK YOU JULIANNA <333 don't worry I suck at blog hopping these days too xD *nervous laughter* EEEEP I HOPE YOU SURVIVE NANO ALRIGHT *sends you chocolate and waffles* and I hope you like the character questionnaire! thank you so much for reading :)

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Nice comments brighten my day x100000! I read and respond to every single one (and I also give my commenters free virtual waffles, so that's a plus.)