America's Lady of Supernatural Thrillers

“Raven's Cove, a great mystery by Mary Ann Poll. Avoid it when winds are gusting to hurricane speed outside. No extra creepiness needed.”
~Bonnye Matthews
Step aside Stephen King, Alaska’s Mary Ann Poll is here to spin new tales of the super-natural and the ungodly, as her heroes and heroines take on the forces of evil on 'The Last Frontier.' ~Jeff Babcock


Working Titles and Outlines. Are They REALLY Necessary to a Creative Writer?

Just the title of this blog is enough to make me want to go take a nap. I mean, really, this is awfully technical stuff for a creative writer. (Do I hear an “AMEN?”) Still, they are the only way I’ve found to begin a book. And, in all honesty, the only way I’ve found to complete a book. They are the cornerstone. So, no shirking here.

Working Title: Other than the story idea, the working title is the most important piece. That title is what I come back to when I get stuck. It is like putting on a pair of blinders that keeps me focused on the story and ultimately the finished novel. So the question is: If you were to boil your book down into two, no more than three words, what would it be? Is it an object? Is it an emotion? Is it a person? That is your working title.

Outline: It took me several years to find the right outline for me. If you’re stuck trying to sketch out your book  in the way we were taught in school, then here’s an idea.

Pretend you are telling a great story to your best friend. (Remember sitting around a campfire and telling ghost stories? Same idea here.) Now, write or type your outline in story format. One page, single spaced.

Once you have this written, you will more than likely have an idea of who your protagonist and antagonist are. You will even be able to visualize the location, time and season of the year in which your book is set.

I have written three books using these two foundation stones as the beginning. I am beginning my fourth novel. Join me. And, let me know if either or both of these ideas work for you.

Until next time,

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