Once I’ve developed an idea into a few key scenes, plot points, and characters, I then make a framework upon which I’ll build the manuscript. It is also during this stage where I’ll further develop characters and conduct research. (Actually, I do research throughout the entire writing process, as needed.) My outlines look a little like a schematic drawing or a flow chart connecting characters and plot points from the beginning of a story to its end. And then I’ll write a few paragraphs about the key characters – their history, some descriptive details, etc.

I’m beginning to outline my fourth book, Once Upon A Road, a collection of three novellas about a trio of siblings making their way in the world. The eldest son lives under a cloud of depression and self-loathing which manifests into bullying and a crude, scathing sense-of-humor. His younger brother is a tightly wound ball of anxiety, desperately in love with a woman every man wants. Their misanthropic sister, the youngest of the three, leaves home at an early age in an attempt to find something in the world not to hate – an ounce of good, a promise of hope, perhaps.  For the three of them, it’s not so much a coming-of-age tale (I think we’ve plenty of those to last a while), it’s more about them coming-to-terms with who they are, accepting their faults, and evolving their strengths.

After I’ve outlined to my satisfaction, I begin writing a first…Draft⇒

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