How To Build A Novel

There are two ways to write a novel. The first is called “pantsing” and the second is called outlining. The pantsing one means that you write by the seat of your pants. You start on page one and write with wild abandon, having no idea or plan about where you’ll end up. I did that with Red Hope. It was very painful. I threw out many chapters and ended up re-arranging lots of chapters to get the pacing right.


When I started Blue Hope, I made sure to do it correctly with a proper outline. First, it was only one page long. Then many pages with one sentence defining a chapter (item E in the image above).  Then I expanded each of those sentences into a paragraph (item F shown above).  At that point, it was fairly easy to follow it like a recipe and put in all the details to make it a full story. The image above spans nearly three years from A to G. Item B is the whole Blue Hope story idea that I wrote on a grocery shopping list.

You can find my latest book, Blue Hope, available via Amazon at this link:


And here is the link to Red Hope:

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