Before we begin, practice healthy creative habits: Clear your space of clutter, set aside some time to focus and spend 2-3 minutes doing your Daily Free Writing before you begin. See Lesson 2 for more about DFW.

Today we’re continuing the assignment from yesterday which was a big one:

Read through your outline from the perspective of ACTS or SECTIONS and to look at the narrative arc for each one. It might be helpful to draw it out on a piece of scrap paper to better see how you’ve built tension or stacked knowledge or driven the drama, up and up and up until there is some kind of conclusion or cliff hanger. If you’re not seeing that pattern you don’t have to trash everything – or even solve it right now – just think of what would help and put a placeholder note in the chapter where that needs to be added.

It might be helpful to think of your book as seasons of a TV show. We have had that storytelling model hammered into us and we can all see it on instinct at this point. If your ACT I was season 1, do you think you’d tune in for Season 2? Is there enough unresolved? Is your ACT II compelling enough to watch Season 3? And finally, did you end your book in a way that you’d feel satisfied and resolved with the end of the show? Were all the loose ends addressed? Did you have a resolution? Is there more? Were all the burning questions answered?

We’re looking at our story at that higher level now, but starting tomorrow we’re going to start our final pass at the chapter level. These are your last opportunities to fine tune your outline, so make sure you use this time well!

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1Daily Free Writing
2Last day review your book from the perspective of Acts/ Sections
3Add chapter level notes for any areas that need to be amped up or toned down