October 2 2015

Outlining with the Hero’s Journey and Tarot Cards

The Writer's Life
The Writer’s Life

In preparations for NaNoWriMo this year I knew I had to do something different. What I’d done previously hadn’t worked, and I’ve tried many things from pantsing to plotting (using all different kinds of methods from Save the Cat, the Marshall Plan, Mapping your Novel, Planning your Novel, and the list goes on), but I never got in the outlining zone. I got enthusiastic, and I got motivated, but I never hit that point where it felt like I wasn’t “WORKING,” where it was fun, like writing is for me. To me, writing, the actual writing is fun, the planning wasn’t. Not until now.

I figured out that I’m what is referred to as a loose outliner, which means I don’t outline every single scene, but I do outline the beginning, middle, and end, some of the main parts (which would be defined as those seven beats that are so important to your novel, or the moments like the inciting incident, the B-Story, All is Lost, and Showdown, or the moments that some refer to as conflict moments). I usually wrote something short and sweet for each chapter like: MC meets ___ & finds ___, or MC loses ___, Bad Guy shows up and MC freaks/confronts/plans, or Betrayal by the last person MC expects, or ___ helps/saves ___ and turns out not to be a bad guy afterall…. in the index card on the corkboard for each chapter so that I knew that those scenes needed to follow that path. However, I didn’t specify anything for each scene, or when I did it usually ended up changing.

However, now that I am outlining with the Hero’s Journey, and Tarot, using an eCourse from Arwen Lynch, I am literally having a blast, my outlining is going so well, and I’m being bombarded with real ideas, good ideas, and those ideas are detailed. My Muse is so happy she’s doing the Happy Dance. 😀  You don’t know how happy this makes me. I’ve found my outlining GROOVE.

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Posted October 2, 2015 by Burgess Taylor in category "NaNoWriMo", "Writing

About the Author

Hello Y'all! I'm a writer, an art journaler, and a coffee addict. I'm working on a novel and chronicling the process and my progress. Grab a cup of Java (or Tea) and sit a spell. :D


  1. By therapeuticwriting1031 on

    So glad that you have found your GROOVE! WOOHOO!!!! Have you ever read Writing In Flow by Susan Perry (ISBN: 898799295). It talks about getting into the ‘zone’ as they call it and you just flow with it.

    I have been outlining as well this year because last year, I was a total pantser but this year I am outlining. I am doing a collection of interelated short stories this year but I have one that is on the longer side and it’s already completely outlined. Now to work on the other, shorter short stories.

    The tarot card route is interesting. I’ve never done tarot cards myself but I am seriously thinking of trying it. I watched Arwen’s video the other day and I might try it myself.

    Happy Outlining!
    Jeremy 🙂

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