Exhibit 16.13

On Editing a Novel #12

CREATING AN OUTLINE. It's likely you'd given up on your novel until running into someone you'd given a draft to 18 months ago at a party. It's even more likely this person avoided eye contact with you until you were finally able to corner her as she reached for her coat. What is certain is that this person told you your novel lacks structure (and adjectives, but we can't help you there). Even if she got a few key details wrong while describing your novel back to you--or is your novel about an ambitious lawyer who finds his values being tested? you don't think so, but it might be--your friend is still right.

You need an outline.

(Your friend is not right about giving up on novels and focusing more on your assistant manager job at Zales. Once your novel is published, you should skip ahead to #64 QUITTING YOUR JOB AT ZALES AND TAUNTING OLD FRIENDS).

But formatting outlines is hard so it's best you don't try to create one from scratch. Just pick up whatever you have in list or bulleted form and use that. Even published novelists do this. For example, The Great Gatsby was originally a grocery list for eggs, Daisy Brand Sour Cream, carraway seeds, and Hires Root Beer (the novel's original title).

Any outline will do. If you want a science fiction thriller, choose an outline from an old introduction to biology term paper just like a certain writer whose name rhymes with Michael Crichton does. If you want a love story, that inventory list from your job at Zales will work perfectly. If you want to pursue that lawyer angle, just use the list of charges on that court summons in your pocket. If you want your novel to win the Pulitzer, use a list of John Updike's published novels.


The Poorhouse Fair -> See, you've already got a setting. Two of them, really
Rabbit, Run -> Now you know there is a rabbit at the fair
The Centaur -> Um, well, you know, he's probably friends with the rabbit

And so on. The important part is the final step.


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