Hello friends and welcome to the latest addition to my blogging lineup: Shareable Saturdays. In this space I will share resources, be that reading material, videos, podcasts, or even writing programs that I think my fellow writers might find useful.
For this first edition, I’d like to share a writing worksheet that I actually made myself earlier this week. Now, I can’t and won’t claim full credit for the idea. My worksheet is in fact based off a concept I found on E.A. Deverell’s website. I really found her worksheet helpful, however as I used them more I found that I was using some sections infrequently if at all and adding other info to each page. So, I decided to adapt her concept into something that worked better for my purposes. If you’re a fan of writing worksheets I definitely recommend checking out her work, she has over 100 documents like this to help boost your creative output.
If you’d like to use my version, however, you’ll find it below. Pantsers, ye be warned.
I’m a big fan of outlining. In fact, I’d go so far as to say its one of my favorite parts of the writing process. In the past, I had my own method of outlining each scene which involved hand-writing and color coding who, what, when, where, and why.
However, now that I have a bit more experience with finishing manuscripts, I needed to adapt my approach to my outlining process. To wit, I needed more detail, particularly where the word count is concerned. I tend to underwrite, a real headache for a fantasy writer like me. But by giving myself a reasonable target wordcount for each scene, I can help keep myself on track.
The other section I have found really instructive is “Why Is This Scene Important” Just the other day I was trying to put together an idea for a scene, but I could not figure out why I needed to include it. It was informative in an info-dumpy sort of way, but that was about it — certainly not enough reason for it’s inclusion. I slept on it, and eventually figured out an addition to the scene that would actually forward the plot along in a meaningful way. With my old method of outlining, I would have just left it in it’s basic info-dumping form. And no one wants to read (or write) that.
Describing the POV character’s mental state at the start and end of each scene has been really insightful as well. Every scene in a book should have movement of some kind — if not physical than mental, emotional, spiritual etc. By filling out these sections, I am able to visualize how my main character is progressing through the story.
Of course, I have taken the additional step of keeping these scene worksheets in sheet protectors in a special binder, along with my other world building and planning notes. I have dividers and everything, and as the outline fills out I’ll add chapter tabs as well. But I’m extra like that.
For those of you who just want the worksheet for now you can click below to download it.
I sincerely hope someone other than me finds this sheet helpful. If not, that’s okay too.
Until next time friends, happy writing!
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