Aug 26 • 1HR 1M

But Does this Book Work? Blueprint for a Book Step 9

Episode 330

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

If you’re not excited to dive in, something’s wrong.

You’ve got a why, a point, an audience. You’ve thought market, found a way to drive your book forward. Found the one or two sentences that describe every chapter or scene and made yourself consider why those chapters or scenes belong and now—you should feel ready to write.

But are you?

Sometimes we fool ourselves. We think we’ve got all the pieces, but we’ve glossed over the fact that two chapters in our TOC are really about the same thing or the reason the villain took the ship hostage is … because she was feeling grumpy? Today we talk about hunting for those weak spots (when really you just want to run right past them with your eyes averted, and oh yeah we get that).

This is the ninth episode in the 10-part Blueprint for a Book Series. Start with Step 1, do the work (we’ll give you an assignment every week), and in 10 weeks, you’ll have a solid foundation for a first draft or revision of your project that will help you push through to “the end”. Find details on the challenge HERE.

ASSIGMENT

Fiction and Narrative Memoir:

  • Download the Ten Point Inside Outline Checklist HERE. Go through it to check your Inside Outline to make sure it is meeting all the requirements. If you find things that don’t hold together, that’s your clue about what you need to revise. Keep revising the Inside Outline until it’s as solid as possible.

  • If you aren’t planning to use a book coach to review your whole Blueprint, this is the moment when it can make good sense to bring in a critique partner Give them your Inside Outline and the Ten Point Inside Outline Checklist and ask them to put your outline to the test.

Nonfiction and Memoir/Self-Help:

  • Download the Seven Point Outcome Outline Checklist HERE. Go through it to check your Outcome Outline to make sure it is meeting all the requirements. If you find things that don’t hold together, that’s your clue about what you need to revise. Keep revising the Outcome Outline until it’s as solid as possible.

  • If you aren’t planning to use a book coach to review your whole Blueprint, this is the moment when it can make good sense to bring in a critique partner Give them your Outcome Outline and the Ten Point Inside Outline Checklist and ask them to put your outline to the test.

(Note: We suggest you download a Blueprint answer workbook to keep track of your 10 assignments. That will make it easier to revise, review and come back to your work. Click to grab yours for fiction or nonfiction. If you are writing narrative memoir (a story), use the fiction workbook and assignments. If you are writing self-help/memoir, use the nonfiction workbook and assignments. Prefer paper? Tape the assignment into your journal and make a nice big heading so you know: This is Step 9. The Outline Checklist)

LINKS

You are a Badass, Jen Sincero

Think Like a Monk, Jay Shetty

Bomb Shelter, Mary Laura Philpott

Blueprint for a Book (Fiction and Memoir)

Blueprint for a Nonfiction Book

TODAY’S COACHES

Jen Braaksma is a writer, teacher and book coach in Ottawa, Canada. Her next YA fantasy, Evangeline’s Heaven, is coming August 2022. She has the word “passion” tattooed on her wrist—literally—and she’s passionate about helping writers put their best work on the page. Find out more HERE.

For more from KJ, subscribe to her newsletter: Read. Eat. Listen. Or grab one of her novels, In Her Boots and The Chicken Sisters, wherever books are sold. Wondering about KJ as a book coach? Her current offerings are HERE

For more from Jennie, subscribe to her weekly newsletter. Or grab one of her Blueprint books, wherever books are sold. You can learn about getting matched with an Author Accelerator book coach or becoming a book coach at authoraccelerator.com

Have you been inspired by the Author Accelerator Book Coaches during this summer podcast takeover? Book coaching is a fantastic thing to do as a side gig to support your writing or as a whole new career. Author Accelerator trains and certifies book coaches and supports them as they help writers bring their books to life. You can learn all about book coaching at bookcoaches.com/abc. We’d love to have you join our community.