Writer’s Notebook, 11/27/12: Opposite Day! And a Few Resources

I mentioned in a recent Writer’s Notebook update that I had given up on writing the novel and turned to a non-fiction project.  That I had hit the end of my innate abilities and was waiting for school to start.  That this non-fiction project finally had context and relevancy and that it was time for it to begin.

I told the truth, but it’s also possible that I had a case of writer’s block.  In any case, I had a breakthrough the other day regarding the novel, meaning that I’m back at it again.

The novel has two main characters – two sisters, to be precise.  The older sister, Lisa, is lovable and lovely but a real piece of cuckoo! work underneath her outer shell of rational and religious sensibilities. In my early morning mental ramblings the other day, between dreamland and wakey-time, I understood that her reaction to the premise of the plot was not what I thought it was.

In fact, it’s practically the opposite.


You don’t have to be a storyteller to realize how that changes everything.  Though, fortuitously, it does bring the plot line back around to my original conception, over a year ago.  At least I’m not starting from scratch.

Also fortuitous is the renewed desire this realization has given me to get back to work.  Bless my soul, now I have two active projects going, if you don’t count blogging.  Perhaps, someday (please, Lord?), I’ll finish one of them.  Finis, The End, All’s Well That Ends Well, Q.E.D.  It’d sure be nice.

Feeling refreshed, my first stop was to the ever-helpful blog Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors, hosted by author K.M. Weiland.  My foremost burning question at this point is How on earth do I outline a novel? Because I’m sure spinning my wheels, writing a ton of copy that I’m going to set aside and probably never use.

(If you’re tuning in for the first time, you must know that I don’t know what the begeebers I’m doing.)

It seems like a simple enough question to answer, but, turns out, not so much.  I figured Weiland would have an answer, and she did… in the form of a book.  That’s how much one can say about the benefits and methods of outlining.

So, there’s that.  I’ll read her book and start outlining the (let’s not curse now!) thing.

With regards non-fiction, one of the best resources I’ve found for writers is Jeff Goins. He has a motivational + marketing savvy ethos which I actually appreciate a lot.  I need help staying motivated to write and being diligent, and I’ll need help with the business side of writing.  Other people are good at it and those people tell people like me what to do.

What impresses me is that Jeff Goins holds down a full-time job in addition to all this writing he does.   He acknowledged in one of his talks that he makes about $3,500/month from his Kindle sales.  Apparently it’s enough to allow his wife to stay at home with their son, but not quite enough to quit his 9-to-5 gig — and perhaps he doesn’t want to quit.  How would I know?  Anyway, here at A Naptime Novelist, we applaud people who manage to do this crazy writing thing in odd circumstances and at odd times.  I admire his work ethic and envy his word counts.

Worst of all, now I have no excuse for not getting both the fic and non-fic projects done.  Gee, thanks, Mr. Goins.


  1. says

    Thanks for the shout out! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog – and I hope you find the book useful as well. Let me know if you have any questions afterwards. No promises I’ll know the answers, but I’ll give them my best shot! ;)

    • Rhonda Ortiz says

      You’re welcome! I bought the book this morning and was in the middle of Chapter 2 when my son woke up. I’m looking forward to finishing it and getting on with the hard work of plotting the novel. Thanks for your blog and for all the advice.

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