The Starting Point: An Outline

The Starting Point: An Outline

When I start writing a new novel, I know two things: The beginning and the end of the story. Then I build a classic three-part story structure, outlining each chapter in an elementary fashion. And it works, guiding me through to completion.

To me, this process is key. Along with creating character sketches and using TKs so as to not stop writing to research, and of course writing longhand, and typing up the day’s work to review and plan for the next writing day, these tools allowed me to finally write that first novel, How Good It Can Be, whose outline I’ve included here, in hopes that it will help others.—Michelle Z.

YA Novel Outline: How Good It Can Be 7th Draft

By Michelle Zaffino Read more about The Starting Point: An Outline

Some Advice for Aspiring Teen Writers

Some Advice for Aspiring Teen Writers

Here’s a piece I wrote for the cool kids on the constructive steps I took to become a writer. Sometimes just knowing you were meant to be a writer isn’t enough, you’ve got to do something about it. This essay originally ran on Take My Word For It.—Michelle

How I Found My Career as a Writer

I love to read—it’s as simple as that. At an early age I devoted hours in the double-digits to reading each week. I had my first library card at age four. From there I went into publishing, playing with my dolls and giving them jobs as reporters and newspaper editors, and actually putting out doll-size publications for them and their friends to read.

To anyone thinking about their future career, the first bit of advice I give them is: What do you love doing? What do you dream about doing? Whatever it is, do that. Why? Because you will do it well. If you do anything less than what you love your heart won’t be in it. Read more about Some Advice for Aspiring Teen Writers