For the newest Molly Barda mystery (tentative title: Molly Barda and the Blessed Event), I’m trying the Write a Book in 90 Days method as recommended on the Author Marketing Institute’s site.

Author Portrait

The schedule looks like this:

Full outline by Day 14
First draft by Day 49
Second draft by Day 56
Submit to editor by Day 63
Re-submit for second pass by Day 73
Publish on Day 90

If all goes according to plan, I’ll have the finished product by fall semester.

The first two weeks are focused on outlining. To add a little more structure to this exercise (I love structure!), I based my outline on  Jami Gold’s Master Beat Sheet template, which in turn builds on Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat and Story Engineering by Larry Brooks.

I also did an illustrated character table. It’s helpful to me to have a “real” person to refer to. (Even if that person is a ‘shopped composite of three different people)


I also have the floor plan for Molly’s house. This is important, as she’s going to have a lot of house guests coming and going.

I’ve never outlined this thoroughly before, and so far, I like it.

I’m using Microsoft Word with the dates and places formatted as headers so that I can look to the document pane for a quick overview of the story. Here’s what the outline looks like:

Th 5/14 [Style: Header 2]

Molly & Donnie’s house – morning [style: Header 3]

Buzzing around the house, trying to get motivated on her research. Lots of rearranging her writing space. Her little office nook, where she used to do her work, gone now. She hears the mail truck pull away, leaps up enthusiastically, goes out to get the mail. Molly gets an envelope from Mahina PD, assumes it’s about her jewelry.

My outline is at about 17K words now.  Next Monday, I’m scheduled to start writing the first draft. The hard part there will be to keep writing. No dawdling over the perfect word choice. That comes later.


THE MUSUBI MURDER August 2015 Amazon / B&N /Powell’s /Audible / iTunes

2 thoughts on “A book in 90 days: Week 2 #amwriting

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