i wrote a book!
hi tumblr! how are you? how's the kids? all good? cool.
so recently i wrote, illustrated, formatted, and self-published a little anthology called just another teenage daydream, and it's filled with poems, short stories, little drawings, and a lot of love.
(look at how cool the cover art looks printed out!! i don't have a physical copy yet, because shipping to taiwan takes so long, but my friend got a copy and i still can't believe how good it turned out.)
sadly there's no kindle version, because the formatting gets all funked, but you can buy a paperback copy for just $8 on amazon! it would genuinely mean the world to me if you did.
or, if you don't want to pay shipping for all that, here's a $5 downloadable PDF version on gumroad, with bonus illustrations! (only $3 for the first five people who buy it with the discount code daydream)
i hope you'll give it a try. it's a sweet & short read, filled with daydreams and fantasy worlds and unrequited love, perfect with a cup of your preferred beverage and a comfortable blanket. plus, you'll be supporting a small queer creator with a big dream.
if you've read this far, then i thank you profusely. i hope you have the best of days, my friend!
— quinn :)
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story outlining methods, pt. 1:
take off your pants!! (“take off your pants!: outline your books for faster, better writing” by libbie hawker)
this outline starts with a character — specifically their biggest flaw — and leads to five points that will make up the core of your story. it’s best for plots and subplots that focus on overcoming the flaw!
this outline doesn’t just have to be used for coming of age novels. it is just as important in your dystopian, fantasy, or thriller novels that the main character learns something or has changed by the end.
STEP ONE: think about your character
your main character — what is their name, and what are their important features?
what are your character’s flaws? what about their FATAL flaw? ex: hubris, overconfidence, stubbornness, etc.
STEP TWO: think about the end of the story
the story (whether the main plot, a subplot, or a facet of the main plot) is the journey lead to overcome the flaw. now that you know the character’s flaw, you know what lesson they need to learn.
the end of the story = the flaw mastered, the lesson learned.
STEP THREE: think about the external goal
the external goal is the plot, the outer motivation to push the character to the end of the story where the goal is mastered. if you remember my post on quests, you know that a quest has two reasons to be there: the external factor (shrek saving fiona for his swamp), and the real reason (the lesson learned)
the external goal should provide a chance for the character to recognize their flaw and begin to change. how does your plot tie into their character development?
STEP FOUR: think about the antagonist
thinking about the external goal should reveal who the antagonist is. the antagonist should want to achieve the same goal or a goal that impedes with the protagonist’s goal. the antagonist should be the biggest obstacle to the character.
STEP FIVE: think about the ally/allies
the character(s) that is capable of forcing the protagonist down the correct path. where your protagonist most likely will resist changing and confronting their flaw, the ally will help force them to do so anyway.
STEP SIX: think about the theme
so what’s the point of your book? if you are struggling to boil it down to one sentence, you might want to think about it a little longer. this is what keeps the story feeling coherent. what are you trying to tell us?
STEP SEVEN: think about the plot
each main plot element should somehow relate to the core of the book, aka the character’s development in overcoming their flaw
OPENING SCENE - set the stage. address the flaw or the theme
INCITING EVENT - what forces the character out of their everyday life and into the story?
REALIZING EXTERNAL GOAL - what makes the character begin seeking their goal?
DISPLAY OF FLAW - if the character’s flaw hasn’t been made blatantly clear, now is the time. make it known to the reader.
DRIVE FOR GOAL - what is your character’s first attempt to reach their goal?
ANTAGONIST REVEAL - how do you first show your antagonist’s opposition to your character?
FIRST THWART - what happens to your character that keeps them from reaching their goal?
REVISIT FLAW - show the character’s flaw again, even if they themselves aren’t aware of it yet.
ANTAGONIST ATTACKS - what does the antagonist do that makes things worse?
SECOND THWART - where your character fails most likely due to the attack
CHANGED GOAL - the character finds a new goal or focuses on the external goal in a different way
ALLY ATTACKS - what does the ally do to force the character to see the flaw?
AWAKENING - the character knows what they must do to reach the external goal. how will you show that the character has also awakened to their flaw? how will you show them changing?
BATTLE - the final showdown with the antagonist!
DEATH - the character’s flaw dies here. how will you show that the character truly is different now?
OUTCOME - show whether the character won or lost the external goal, reveal the theme of the story.
naturally, you don’t have to follow that outline exactly, but it can be a good place to start ;)
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