How I Outline - From Novella To Novel


December 17, 2016


   My novella, Killing Snow, suddenly decided that it wanted to be a novel. I smacked it and told it no.    

   But apparently this didn't work, because Killing Snow has finally convinced me that it has a longer story to tell. So lately I've been pretty busy trying to re-vamp the novella's outline to turn it into a novel's outline.

   Which is hard, let me tell you.


   I started with piles and piles of info from beta readers, a vague idea of some things I wanted to try with Killing Snow, and massive amounts of confusion. So I made a plan of action. Do a very quick edit of Killing Snow (because it needed another edit before I forced myself to look at it again *cringe*) and then type out the entire outline of the novella that I have right now.

   Of course, being me, I forgot to add the prologue into that outline. Go figure.

    ANYWAYS. So I did that. (*cough* and then kind of stared at said outline in utter confusion and wondered what on earth I was to do with it *cough*) The hardest part came after that.

   Figuring out how to write out the novel's outline. I started by running through the ideas I had for the novel and writing them all down (because I have the memory of a goldfish and I would have forgotten them otherwise).


   Then I went back to the outline of the novella I had typed out earlier, and printed it. The novella outline on the left side of the paper, and blank space on the right to write out the new novel outline. Then (with the ideas that I had written down earlier and drawing most of my inspiration from the novella's outline), I started to build something new.


   The going's rough (because I feel like I've run out of new ideas for the novel Killing Snow xD) - but I've given myself until mid-March/beginning of April to fully finish this outline. Because then in April's Camp NaNoWriMo, I can start re-writing Killing Snow *is still a little in shock about this decision*. Which is kinda neat, in a roundabout way - because last April I wrote novella Killing Snow for Camp xD.         

   So for me, outlining is a very go-with-the-flow kind of thing (strange for this partial perfectionist, but there it is *shrugs*). We'll see how this ends up.    
 
   It started out with me writing insane words during Camp, thinking that these words were the sand with which I'd build a castle. Turns out I was wrong. The words were the sand, the novella is the stones, and now it's time for the real castle-building to commence. I just have to draw out the plans first xD.

~ Savannah Grace

   How do you outline? Have you ever realized your story has more to say?  

26 comments :

  1. Ooh, you're going to revamp it into a novel? That's both scary and exciting. :P I think it's a good decision, though.

    (also, have you heard about JaNoWriMo? It's basically a group of people redoing NaNo in January. I'm using it to almost finish/finish my NaNo novel, since I seriously have had zero motivation after November ended. :P)

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    1. It definitely is a kinda scary - but mostly exciting ;).

      No, I haven't! I'm tempted to join in, but I'm going to need to use all the time I have to finish this outline and get things planned out for April. And OH GRACIOUS, I can totally relate to have no motivation right now. NaNoWriMo wiped me out xD. (and yet I still plan to do it again next year? *is officially crazy*)

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  2. Cool! it's fun when you find out your story has more to tell. I do outline but I'll give you the short version of what I do. I outline it kind of like a paper.

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    1. Like a paper? That's a lot different that the outlines I've heard of - but it sounds like it would be really cool! *almost wants to do this*

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  3. That's so cool! And can definitely be scary.

    Your outlining process for this is really cool. I like how you set it up to write the outlines side by side.

    Best of luck! :)

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    1. Doing it side-by-side is easy until I run out of room on one side of the paper xD. But I'll probably keeping using this kind of outline, because it seemed to be working *shrugs*.

      Thank you, Jameson!

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  4. YASSS YOU CAN DO THIS, SAV!! *fistbumps*

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    1. THANK YOU, SARE - I WILL TRY xD. *fistbump*

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  5. How exciting!!! :D This is awesome you're doing this!

    I can actually 100% relate. Because Burning Thorns was originally a novella that demanded to be turned into a novel as well! (Seriously, these books are so pushy.) I really like how you're doing it, and allowing yourself to keep a slow, steady pace. When I decided to turn BT into a novel, I outlined it as well, and figuring out how to keep stuff from the novella, while also making some changes, AND adding basically a whole other story's worth of stuff is, well, headache inducing. Heh. It was HARD. So I totally sympathize with you right now! But, trust me, it's all going to come together and be worth it. I know it!

    You've got this! *fistpump*

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    1. Ooh, yes - I forgot that Burning Thorns was once just a baby novella, too xD. (books should learn to mind their authors better *nodnod*) Mind if I email you later to talk about how you turned BT into a novel?
      YES it is headache inducing - sometimes I just stare at the paper and wonder where I'm going to get fresh ideas from xD. Blank white pages are intimidating.

      THANK YOU - I intend to conquer this outline. *fistbump*

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    2. You can email me any time! Though I don't know how helpful I can be. My memory, too, is akin to a goldfish, and I don't remember everything about my novella-to-novel process. XD

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    1. *accepts the luck, because I need it* :D Thanks, Hann!

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  7. That's so cool that you're taking that novel leap. I wish you all the luck in the world. :)

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    1. I never expected to take the novel leap - but somehow it happened? xD *takes all the luck*

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  8. GO YOU!!! Sounds like you've got a big job ahead. *cheers* :D

    Also, random question. For April's Camp NaNo have you booked a different cabin or are you still in the Fellowship of the Keyboards? (Because we'd LOVE to have you back again)

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    1. I DO - The job is turning out to be bigger than I thought it would be xD.

      I'm pretty sure I'm booked for a different cabin, so sorry! (but the FotK will be epic and you will write lovely stories and throw pizza *nodnod*)

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    2. *gives pizza* You'll do it amazing!

      Aw, that's sad, but I'm glad you could at least join us for one Camp. :)

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  9. Hello Savannah!
    I feel you! :D I wrote a novel in July, for Camp NaNo... And yeah, I finished it... But I didn't finish it. xD Basically, all that month was for writing a bunch of ideas and small, lankly skeleton. LOL! What I mean is... is that God keeps showing me a lot of different stuff for this novel since I first wrote it. I was kinda struggling because gosh, it isn't like I mean to 'procrastinate' or anything- but I knew I didn't have the whole story. Yet.
    Yahweh will show us how the story goes! We just have to pray and write it all down (because I to have the brain span of a goldfish. haha ohmyword). It is amazing for things to start clicking and lining up when you're writing and editing. :)
    You're doing great so far! With the outlining and getting a game plan. :) Can't wait to see how it goes for you.
    So yeah! Seek was a novel when I first wrote it, but I knew it was lacking a lot that God hadn't shown me yet, and my characters hadn't shown me... But step by step, all in God's timing, it will be great! :D You can do it!
    YHVH bless.
    -Angela | thepeculiarmessenger.wordpress.com

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    1. Same here - I've never actually FINISHED a book during NaNo xD. But it's super fun to continue the story after NaNo ends.
      He most definitely will - I love seeing how things line up so perfectly as I keep writing.
      Thank you so much, Angela! I'm excited to see where it goes, as well. And YOU CAN DO IT, TOO! Don't give up on your story, and I won't give up on mine ;).

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  10. Sounds exciting, and perhaps a little daunting! I'm planning to revamp my novella, The Brightest Thread, into a novel sometime in 2017 as well. *rubs hands together gleefully*

    P.S. Somehow I wasn't getting notified about your posts on my dashboard, but I clicked the official follow button just now, so hopefully that will fix things. :P

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    1. Maybe MORE than a little daunting xD. *gasps* YOU ARE?! That's so cool! And if you need beta readers for this Brightest Threads novel ... *promptly raises hand*

      I think it will fix it - I've had that same problem before xD.

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  11. Oh this is cooooool! O.O I've never written a novella before. Well, scratch that. I've written about half of a novella for backstory on two charries I love muchly, but I haven't finished it yet because ... well, it's kind of complicated, but I WILL finish it eventually. I'm just waiting till I can go back to the project it's a companion to. If that makes sense. Words. Blah blah but yOU GO GIRL. LIKE, WOW. SO MUCH SKILL AND POWER. *applauds you* Also your handwriting is adorable *yes i spotted that little bit in one of your pics aren't I a master of observation*

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    1. WOW you're dedicated to write half a backstory for two charries xD. And YES it makes sense and YES I'll probably want to beta read when you're done *grins*.
      THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'm excited to see if this works out :D. (handwriting? *glances up* oh, yeah, there it is xD. Thanks! *applauds your observation skills*)

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  12. So excited for you! :D I can definitely relate...I've had an idea or 20 start out as a short story and then beg to become a full-fledged novel. :)

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    1. An idea or 20 xD. We writers have problems with plot bunnies, I think :D.

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