Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.

Writing: What preparations do you make?


As I’ve stated in earlier posts, everyone has their own technique when it comes to writing. Whether someone writes on the fly, creates detailed outlines, or has some style stuck between the two – every way is the right way. No matter what you do when you write, if it feels right, then it is right.

English: Book and apparatus for writing. Engra...

Image via Wikipedia

I tend to create very basic chapter outlines, when it comes to my novels. However, that isn’t a fool-proof method.

For Tales of The Forbidden, I had basic outlines for the first twenty chapters, but wrote everything without a guideline after that.

For Mercy of The Forbidden, I’m hoping to finish the basic chapter outlines – even if I do not follow them exactly, as I didn’t with the first book.

The outlines I make leave much to be desired. For an example:


Josephus seeks out Damien and asks for protection for his daughter. After his wife began sensing the presence of her former allies in their area, they have begun to fear for their daughter’s safety and wish for her to be safe, even if they are not.

An agreement is made between them.

Despite being very basic, it gives me the main idea and from there, I write the prologue or chapter accordingly. Sometimes, other things come up and I move things to later, or include something entirely different, so chapter content may vary from the outlines by the time I finish the book.

Even so, the basic idea is there and the outlines help me to have a rough idea of where I need to go with my writing.

Primarily, the outlines are a dull afterthought in my mind when I write; small details that keep me on the bare path that gets expanded on as the book goes on.

What works for me might not work for you. Feel free to share your experience when it comes to your writing process and the preparation that goes into it before you begin the real novel-writing. Or short stories and poetry, for that matter!

Share your technique and let’s exchange!

Don’t forget about my current giveaway! It ends Sunday! Click here to learn more.

Author: Natasha McNeely

I'm a writer, reader, gamer and a dreamer. I love losing myself to thought and considering possibilities. That is how I create my stories and weave the erratic tales into readable ones.

5 thoughts on “Writing: What preparations do you make?

  1. On my current project, I started off by writing a bunch of exploratory material where I’d come up with simple ideas for scenes and character back story, then dramatized them in narrative form to see what would happen. After about 150k words of that, I figured maybe I should’ve written a first draft of a novel instead. I had a bunch of ideas where I wanted to go after doing the exploratory stuff, so I basically wrote the draft without referring to anything, although I did end up copy/pasting some of the exploratory material.

    • That sounds like it was a lot of work. I definitely would have rather worked on the draft first, but if that worked out for you, then no one can say it’s an inefficient method!
      Great job on that.

  2. I like general outlines, but haven’t really tried to do one chapter-by-chapter yet. I’m beginning to feel like the more I outline, the easier it will be to progress, but my way of writing has worked out fairly well so far!


  3. I’ve tried outlining but I find that as my new characters come to life the outline gets thrown out the window.

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s