Sunday, February 28, 2010


‘The Ten Things That Must Happen’---in Your Writing

By Jill Earl

I’ve never been one for outlining. Even back in school, I found it more of an effort to create an outline for a particular assignment than to just write my thoughts and ideas out. I applaud those who find it useful, though.

Then, I came across the latest issue of’s Writing Sparks Newsletter, where editor Monica Poling offers up an interesting way to incorporate outlining into your own work.

Titled ‘The Ten Things That Must Happen’, she suggests starting with the ten most important events that should happen in your piece, making your outline as brief or detailed as needed. After that, she lists a number of questions to help you plot out your next steps, like what scenes to use or eliminate or what does your list show about your writing. Once you’ve figured out what to do and what direction to take, you can pick up your pen or get back to tapping on the keyboard again.

Reading through this, I realized that I’d been doing this outline informally with a couple of pieces I’ve worked on for my critique group. Now that I’ve been formally introduced to this particular method, I’ll be using it for sure in the future. The rest of the article's here.

Reached an impasse in your writing? Work through those ‘ten things that must happen’ technique and bust through that block in no time!

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Blogger WriteUP Cafe said...

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Sorry for posting this as a comment, couldn't find any other way to contact you.

~Team WC

10:56 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

Great post, Jill. Of course, I'm probably not totally impartial.

Thanks for the kudos.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

You're welcome, Monica, your newsletter's great!

5:47 PM  

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