Nancy's Books

Sunday, February 5, 2017

To Outline or Not, part 4

More reasons why I outline a manuscript before writing:

Avoid Writer’s Block. An outline helps me break down the story into manageable parts and to see the story from beginning to end. Little by little, I know I can complete the manuscript without feeling so overwhelmed that I completely give up. 

More comprehensive coverage of a topic. When I write biographies, I add every major event to the outline so I won’t overlook or eliminate an important issue. In my dual biography, HAPPY BIRTHDAY: THE STORY OF THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR SONG, I wanted to relate how the two Hill sisters’ parents influenced their work. I also wanted to showcase the impact of the song on national and international levels. Just a line or two on my outline allowed me to quickly determine that I included these elements. 

Writer motivation. Earlier, I discussed how an outline helps develop character motivation. It also offers emotional advantages. When the outline is staring back at me, I am more motivated to write, since I don’t have to sweat bullets in trying to figure out what the character will do next or what obstacle pops us to hinder his/her efforts. This is already thought out and all I have to do is write the scene. For me, the outline makes my work so much easier and simpler. Easy and simple win. I know what to write next, and all I have to do is figure out how to write it.  

Call for submissions for Young Writers:

"It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest. Restrictions: Open to Grades 6-12. Genre: Short story, and flash fiction, unpublished. Prize: 1st Place $250, 2nd Place $150, 3rd Place $100. 

Deadline: February 24
Submission guidelines at
Call for submissions for Adult Writers:
PER DIEM PRESS will publish a single chapbook of poetry in early 2017, eight 4” X 5”pages, saddle-stitched, with a cardstock cover. The poet will receive $1,000 and copies. Poets of every stripe are encouraged to submit eightish pages of previously unpublished poetry in English to Per Diem Press, 912 Cole Street #331, San Francisco California 94117. Submissions need to be received by February 28, 2017. All rights, of course, will be retained by the poet.

Nancy Kelly Allen has written 40+ children’s books and a cookbook, SPIRIT OF KENTUCKY: BOURBON COOKBOOK.

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