Book Writing

  • The Snowflake Method for Outlining a Novel

    By Jennifer Mattern on October 9, 2014
    It’s no secret that when it comes to tackling large writing projects, I’m a planner. I work from outlines for nearly everything I write (even this blog post). I’ve tried several outlining strategies over the years. And ultimately I’ve taken bits and pieces of each strategy to customize my own process. Last year, I came across someone on the NaNoWriMo […]
  • Novel Planning Tools and Worksheets

    By Jennifer Mattern on October 8, 2014
    We recently talked about preparing for NaNoWriMo during October, and I shared some of my own plans such as using the Snowflake Method for this novel's outline. Today I'd like to share some of the best resources for helping you plan your NaNoWriMo novel (or any novel for that matter). Here are links to character planning resources and some of […]
  • Prepare for NaNoWriMo: 5 Tips for October Planning

    By Jennifer Mattern on October 6, 2014
    Last year was the first year I took part in NaNoWriMo. I participated mostly as a challenge that I could document here on the site. It went well. And I'm doing it again this year, although I'll be following the traditional rules rather than last year's "rebel" approach where I combined a few projects that I needed to work on […]
  • Quick Tip: The Pomodoro Technique for Authors

    By Jennifer Mattern on June 25, 2014
    One of my favorite productivity tools in my freelance writing and blogging work is a timer. I use something called the Pomodoro Technique which breaks down my work into small, manageable periods of time. It's a great way to stay focused and push yourself to see how much you can do in a short stretch. And it turns out, it […]
  • Writing Fiction: Series or One-off Titles?

    By Jennifer Mattern on November 11, 2013
    Recently we've been talking a lot about writing books, including Karen Wiesner's recent release on writing fiction series. Today I'd like to delve a bit further into the decision we make as authors between pursuing a one-off novel versus looking for series potential. Both have their place. So let's look at the pros and cons of both. Here are some […]
  • Still Need a Word Count Tracker for NaNoWriMo? We Have 2 You Can Try

    By Jennifer Mattern on November 5, 2013
    This is my first year doing NaNoWriMo. And so far, things are going well. I set up my writing schedule so I would work harder in the beginning of the month and be able to cut back on my word count goals toward the end of the month around Thanksgiving. My two highest word count days (not counting blogging and […]
  • Weekend Reading: NaNoWriMo

    By Jennifer Mattern on November 2, 2013
    National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is officially here. I'm taking part for the first time as a way to push myself back into my fiction writing projects after my recent extended leave. Whether you're taking part in NaNoWriMo this year or you're just thinking about writing a novel at some point in the future, these resources are worth checking out. […]
  • Cohesive Story Building by Karen Wiesner: Coming Soon

    By Jennifer Mattern on October 28, 2013
    We've been talking a lot this past week about Karen Wiesner's latest writer's reference book, Writing the Fiction Series. Today I'd like to share some information about another book you should keep an eye out for. The rights to her book, From First Draft to Finished Novel, have reverted to her, and Karen is set to release a new version of the book through […]
  • Review of Writing the Fiction Series by Karen Wiesner

    By Jennifer Mattern on October 24, 2013
    I've made it no secret that I'm a fan of the previous two writers' reference books from Karen Wiesner -- First Draft in 30 Days and From First Draft to Finished Novel. So I was thrilled when she sent me her most recent release for writers, Writing the Fiction Series.  This was a timely read for me. I'm gearing up to take part in my […]
  • Preparing for NaNoWriMo: Organizing and Outlining Your Novel

    By Jennifer Mattern on October 23, 2013
    While we're talking to our featured guest, Karen Wiesner, this week about writing novels and planning fiction series, it seemed an appropriate time to talk about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). With NaNo just over a week away, thousands of authors and aspiring authors are getting ready to write a novel during November. Before jumping into a first draft, many […]