Outlining My Novel – Creating the Hero #STCexperiment


– It’s time for a writing vlog. I haven’t done a writing
vlog in so long (laughs). (bright music) I’m officially begun
outlining my fourth novel. So this is actually gonna
be a way more casual video, and you’ll see that as we go along. But I am partaking in the
Save the Cat Experiment, and by Save the Cat, I
mean this book right here. Save the Cat Writes A
Novel by Jessica Brody. Now, this was all started
by Bethany Atazadeh and Britney Wing, two
amazing YouTubers and authors and my friends, so if you haven’t heard of this Save the Cat Experiment, please visit the info down below. But basically, they’re
working like step-by-step, week-by-week to outline
a novel with everyone. So they’re having like weekly live streams where we use Save the Cat to
help us outline our novels. And I saw this, and I was
like I’m not quite ready to start novel number
four, but what better time? Like I need that help, and
I need people to stand by me to be able to actually sit down
and outline my fourth book. So right now, I spent the
day yesterday reading this, taking notes, I’m up to page 50, which means I’m at the mid-point when it comes to learning
about the different beats. And I’ve taken so many notes
in just reading the intro. Like I had a vague idea for an idea, but I just started jotting things down. And I’m not gonna zoom into much. This is my official novel
notebook, it’s all Shakespeare. It’s a beautiful leather
bound notebook with blue pages on the side, and on the inside, it’s actually different
words from Shakespeare plays instead of lines, and it’s
just a gorgeous notebook. And I figured, you know what? No better time than to
destroy a gorgeous notebook than outlining your fourth novel. So that’s what I’m doing,
and so, I’m just gonna take you guys vlog-by-vlog
as I outline this book. I have to say I’m already super excited because I’ve been dreading
writing my fourth book for the longest time because
everyone keeps asking, “What’s your fourth novel gonna be about? “What’s it gonna be
about,” and I had no idea. I didn’t know what
genre I wanted to write. I didn’t know anything,
and I didn’t really have like a huge inspiration,
one day when I was at work, I had weird inspiration. So I literally just wrote
it down on this sticky note, and kept it for when I
would be able to sit down and kinda dive into it more. And that’s what I did when I
started reading Save the Cat. I was like, well, let’s see what happens, and I was very surprised
when she started talking about the different beats. And I tried to apply those beats to my novel idea really
quick, and I was like, ooh, I might be able to make this work. So I have a ton of, like I have
a vague, vague story in mind but I have a few different
ways it could turn right now. But I really haven’t
started actually outlining. I’m just in the brainstorming,
brain dump phase where I literally just have
a page in this notebook where I just put down all my ideas whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea. It’s Monday, which means
the first live stream for Save the Cat is on Wednesday. So I still have two more days to finish reading the first two chapters. I feel like I’m in college
’cause I’m like, oh god, I have homework I have to do. I have to read the first two chapters and take notes on them, but actually, it’s been really helpful for
me to have this deadline. So I read the first chapter. I’m like halfway through
the second chapter. Been getting so many different ideas, and I don’t know what Britney and Bethany are gonna do during the live
stream, but I can’t wait because I’m already feeling
so inspired right now. (bright music) Okay, so I’m hoping you guys don’t see just how messy my house is behind me. I think we might be
good, but so right now, I just finished watching the live stream of Britney and Bethany doing
their first live stream for the Save the Cat
Experiment where basically, they’re outlining a novel with us. Like they’re asking for our opinions, and we’re outlining a novel and right now, it actually sounds really cool. So I’m gonna leave a link
to that video down below if you wanna watch it and kinda see what that
experience was like. So every week, they’re gonna
be outlining the book more and more, going step-by-step. So I’m doing things a
little bit differently. I actually, I got so excited hearing them outline their own book that I just wanted to like stop and outline mine
while I had the inspiration to do it, so I had them
on like a very low volume. Just so I could kinda
keep an eye on things, but I automatically was
like, I just need to start. I need to start outlining right now. So my book is going to be very different from Britney and Bethany’s book. ‘Cause they’re working on a fantasy book, and I’m working on what I hope
will be a hardcore thriller. We will see. But I’ve had this idea,
and I’ve been wanting to play around with it. And when I started reading Save the Cat, I took that idea, and I kept, you know, I used some of the prompts or workshops or I forget what it
was called in the book. But I was asking myself these questions, and I applied it to the story,
and the way I answered them really changed the idea itself. So the idea is nothing
like the original idea, but basically, what I did
today is that I already had a brainstorming session earlier this week where I just kinda wrote down ideas as I was reading this book ’cause I couldn’t not read
this book and not have ideas. So I’ve been getting tons of ideas. This book is just
underlined to everywhere. Wherever there was like
sentence or a phrase that I really liked, I underlined it. So today, they were working exclusively in chapter one, which is
creating the hero for your book. So what I did today was
I kinda had a feeling who my hero was ’cause
I didn’t really know who my hero was until I finished
reading this book anyways. But today, I really dove deep into it, and so, at the end of chapter one, which is about creating your hero, there’s this exercise where you ask is my hero’s story worthy? So you can ask all these questions, like who is the hero of your story, what is their big problem or flaw and different things like that. And then, there’s this little
checklist off to the side. So what I did was I had
my handy-dandy notebook, and this notebook is
dedicated just to this book. So I’m gonna scribble as
many places as I want. Like I haven’t even started outlining. I’m just brainstorming,
and I have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven pages full. And today, I actually filled
out three of those pages. So the first thing I wanna do was to identify my hero’s
problem, want, and need. So I’m not gonna tell you what they are, but I did wanna just walk you through what I did for plotting. So I actually had a hard
time finding the difference between the want and the need because what your character wants should not be the same
thing that they need. So initially those were the same thing. If they are the same
thing, then, the story isn’t as interesting, so
I kinda had to play around with things a little bit, and I shifted it so that the need was the
complete opposite of the want. So I actually am really
happy with the result because when you ask
yourself these problems, and when you do apply this
sort of, I don’t wanna say formulaic sort of thing to it, but when you ask yourself this, you realize that when
you answer the question, it ends up being a much
more interesting story. So after I identified the problem, I ask how’s that problem
affect the character? When I identify the
need, what does the need force the character to realize and different things like
that, and then, of course, identifying a flaw in your main character because a character that’s perfect is not a realistic character. And frankly, the more flawed they are, the more interesting they tend to be. And then, on this side of the page here, it was literally just a brain dump because at first, I kinda wanted to do like fill in the blank where this page was like really blank. And I was literally just
gonna write down the problem, the want, the need. But I came into the
issue that if I did that, then I wasn’t writing anything down ’cause I was scared to write stuff down. So I started just jotting stuff down, and when I felt a little
more sure of myself, I would put it on this side of the page. But after awhile, I just
realized, you know what? Who cares, this is outlining, I’m allowed to do whatever I want, and
I got really messy with it. And because of that, I ended
up going into the next page because I need to write more stuff down. So we have the goal, the
character should have one very solid and clear goal, and then, I wanted to write a quick little sentence on how my character’s going
about achieving that goal. And then, of course, why
haven’t they achieved that goal? So I’ve been answering
all these questions, and I’ve just been feeling
so good about this book because up until reading Save the Cat, I haven’t had any idea of
what I wanted to write. And frankly, that’s why I haven’t started writing my fourth novel,
so this is week one of Save the Cat Experiment,
and it has gone well. I’ve watched the live stream. I did my homework and read
the first two chapters. And I even did the figuring
out who my hero is, and I forget what Bethany
and Britney said next week is gonna be, but I guess we’ll find out. I think it was the opening
image is what we’ll figure out. So I think that’s gonna require
a little extra outlining on my part, but yeah, so that
is it for this week’s video. I hope you enjoyed this vlog style because I am going to
continue vlogging my journey of outlining this book
because I think this will be extra special for me, and
it may seem more fun for me. And hopefully, you guys will
feel a little bit inspired. So yeah, if you would
like to stay up to date with everything I’m up to, subscribe to my Author Newsletter. And when you subscribe, you get access to my Author Platform Webinar. Otherwise, that is it for today’s video. Be sure to give it a thumbs up. Comment down below if you’re participating in the Save the Cat Experiment. And yeah, see you guys next week.

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