Fiction Writing Made Easy

#76: Student Spotlight: The Power of Outlining (and How He Finished a First Draft in 3 Months) With James Beswick

December 13, 2022 Savannah Gilbo Episode 76
Fiction Writing Made Easy
#76: Student Spotlight: The Power of Outlining (and How He Finished a First Draft in 3 Months) With James Beswick
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Show Notes

In today's episode, I’m sitting down with James Beswick to talk through his incredibly inspiring story of how he finished his first draft in three months. Here’s a preview of what’s included: 

[03:30] An introduction to James Beswick and how he decided to write a book
[05:30] How James carved out writing time in his calendar, while working a full time job
[06:30] What James’s Notes to Novel experience was like—and why he decided to enroll in the course in the first place
[08:25] How James initially wanted to write a screenplay, but then decided to write a novel instead (Plus, our thoughts on writing a novel vs. writing a screenplay)
[11:00] How your genre framework removes the terror and overwhelm from the writing process (and pulls back the curtain on how to actually write a novel)
[13:30] A quick description of James’s story
[14:45] What is was like for James to create an outline—and the three things that helped him outline his story the most
[16:30] The secret to avoiding writing problematic scenes where nothing happens
[18:45] My feedback on James’s outline (the 3 main issues he had + what worked)
[21:45] James’s big a-ha moment re: writing the perfect first draft (and the mindset shift that got him through writing a messy first draft)
[24:30] Why James decided to get outside feedback from an editor once he had a finished draft (and what this process was like)
[27:00] Our thoughts on the hardest section of the story to write
[29:00] What it was like for James to get feedback on his first draft—and what some of the biggest issues were in terms of plot and character
[36:00] An update on how the second draft is going for James (and how he’s using his outline to help him navigate the revision process)
[46:00] Final words of wisdom and advice from James

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