Tuesday, September 5, 2017



There is no wrong way to write a book. If you can imagine it, then you can write it. Just sit down, gather your thoughts, and do it. At least that is how I feel about what it takes to write a novel. There are two types of writers and they are loosely referred to as either an outliner or a pantster. There are varying degrees of both of these types of approaches, and any writer will undoubtedly tell you which one best describes them.

As for me, I’m an outliner. It’s just how I roll. I’m one of those people who have lists and even lists for my other lists. You know the type—being obsessed by organization. I find that having an outline gives me a solid roadmap through my story before I sit down and write it. That doesn’t mean that you cannot change something, go in another direction, or even add or remove a character. When adjusting an outline is what I refer to as taking one of those side roads from your roadmap.


Benefits: It gives a complete overall view to the story before you begin writing. You’ve spent the time to work out any questions, inconsistencies, or lags in the storyline. You can see the entire story play out and can decide if you want to change anything that appears to be a problem. It will shorten the rewrite time later. You will be able to see if you need more research, tweak the storyline, or if a particular character needs more development. One of the most important aspects of outlining is that it will almost guarantee no writer’s blocks or not knowing how to end the story. What a relief!

Drawbacks: It can take more time than expected to work out an outline. The outline may become too detailed and eat up time from your budget process before you ever write your first chapter. It could also cause the story to become stilted—taking away from the more organic flow of writing. You don’t want your crime story to read like a dull police report.


Benefits: Just because you don’t have an official outline doesn’t mean that you don’t have some notes or simple guides as you write. It’s not as if you’re wearing a blindfold sitting in front of your computer and someone yells, “GO!” It just means that you don’t want to take the time to complete a full outline. You would rather have the freedom to create and not be bound by notes and detailed scenes, but to just write. It gives you the opportunity to create in a less stressful manner giving a freer tempo to the story. If you foresee obstacles or a need for more research, you can complete these tasks as you go, or when you’ve completed the first rough draft of your story.

Drawbacks: It can be easy to write yourself into a corner of not knowing how to proceed or when to end the story. It may seem workable in your mind, but in reality, it becomes a stumbling block. Not creating a more detailed outline may cause the first draft to have more rewrites than with a more completed outline.

It’s basically up to the individual’s personality and writing habits to find out if outlining, or not, is the right fit. My advice, try them both and you’ll immediately know which side of the writing fence is the most comfortable.  

About the Author

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

Her latest book is the crime thriller, Dead Cold.



About the Book:
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 326
Genre: Crime Thriller
What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.



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