Quote Originally Posted by FOTSGreg View Post
Uncle Jim wrote, ...I can give you tricks for blowing it up into a full novel.

Oh! Mememe! I'd love to hear about these tricks. Please.

Okay, this is a really stupid trick (but, if something is stupid and it works, it isn't stupid).

Take that ten-page, single-space outline.

You figure that you're going for a 80,000 word novel.

80,000 words is 320 pages in standard manuscript format. You're looking for ten page chapters, so that's 32 chapters.

(Remember, standard manuscript format is Courier New, 12 point, one inch margins all around on 8.5x11 paper. Running head. Single sided. Black on white.)

Now, take that ten page single-space, present tense outline. There are fifty lines per page single spaced. Ten pages is 500 lines. It does not matter to me if you're using 8 point TNR or what the outline is written in.

Thirty-two goes into 500 15.6 times. Starting at the top of your outline, count down fifteen lines. Draw a line across the page with a red pencil between line fifteen and line sixteen. Now count down another sixteen lines. Draw a line across the page. Count down another fifteen lines. Draw a red line across the page. It doesn't matter if the red line divides a sentence in two.

If all goes well, by the bottom of page ten of your ten-pager you will have divided the piece into thirty-two sections.

Each section is the outline for one chapter.

Write each chapter, using only what's between the two red lines.

Each chapter shall be ten pages in standard manuscript format.

If you can't make length, drop back to the middle of the chapter and add paragraphs until you've pushed the last line to the bottom of page ten.

In those cases where you've divided a sentence in two, that's your cliffhanger.

Write a chapter a day. Ten pages, without fail. It's okay to throw any crap on the page that you want. You're going for length. But what happens in that chapter shall only be what was between those two red lines that define the chapter.

In a month you will have an entire novel.

Stick it in your desk drawer. Wait six weeks (during which you write something else) then pull it out, read it, edit it, re-write it, smooth it, and generally do all those things that you'd do with any novel.

"Holy moly!" I can hear you saying. "Does that work?"

"Yes, it does," I assure you. "I've done it. So have others. The Secrets of the Pros revealed."