Plot Outline Template

As a novelist, I’m firmly in the plotter camp. For some of my shorter stories, and, oddly, most of my novelettes, I tend to let the story unfold organically, thinking no more than a page or two ahead. But for novels, there are too many intricacies and loose ends that need tying together to just…

The Sum Total of …

I’d planned to spend the entire day devoted to writing. After numerous interruptions, most of them more stressful than I’d care to relate, and a lovely evening chat with my smarter half, I finally got down to “business” around 8:30 PM. But the Washington Wizards and Miami Heat were each playing (and winning) and there…

Getting Dark

My next book, which I will start plotting this month, stars a female Security Analyst – a female Sherlock Holmes type – who is gifted with Synesthesia. Her partner is a burly, ex-Army Ranger with what he calls a “Crazy Magnet.” Together, they stumble across a plot that threatens to unravel the uneasy thread of…

Outlining Short (or longer) Works

  Getting  organized can really blow. Typically, I don’t outline short stories. That isn’t because I don’t think I need them. Frankly, I think any story can benefit from a bit of outlining. Rather, I use short stories as stretching exercises; since I am by nature organized, I use shorter pieces to expand my extemporaneous…

A Very Small Matter of Outlining

Now, I already know what you’re saying, Alica McKenna-Johnson. “I already told you, I’m a total pantser.” Yeah, yeah. Oh great, now the rest of you are nodding. (sigh) So there you are, happily kicking the story along by the seat of its … pants. You don’t want to stop and outline, because the words…

Plots or Pants?

I have seen a great deal of online discussion regarding whether or not one should plot. I have largely been on the sidelines of the debate, as to me, this is another “is the glass half-empty or half-full?” argument. (Neither, your glass is the wrong size for your content.) There are two schools in this…