A look at outlining in Excel

Novel outlining in Excel:

Michael J. Martinez

With the release of The Venusian Gambit, I’ve been doing a fair amount of stuff, including a guest post on the writing process at Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds, as well as a Reddit AMA on r/Fantasy. And a question came up in both places: What’s with this Excel outlining you keep talking about?

Well, it’s a long answer, but I figured I’d give it a go. I use Excel to outline my novels in a far more complete, intensive way — more like a storyboard, really. I can include not just what happens, but to whom it happens, why, their reactions, the effect on the setting, etc. I found Excel useful because my books tend to have some complexity to them — different dimensions, multiple POV characters, lots of moving parts — and it helps me keep things straight. Plus, I like being able to storyboard a scene before writing…

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