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ms word ebook template
It may seem like a simple step. Just open a new document and start typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to get a strong working title and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he found he could accelerate his writing process ~600% by producing an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the exact same procedure for every new article I work on. Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for the common Ghost blog article structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are just Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save , rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of each list to view the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file in your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point using a few notes about what I need to write in that section. By the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it easier to expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other nicely, because I know the arrangement of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a full rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours simply to have the outline done, so I put the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a solid idea about what each segment would contain and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow in the article. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took less time because I had set myself up for success. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or 2.
It had been quite a different procedure to how I normally do the job, and I had been tempted a few times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline properly. I frequently put these things off until I’m drafting, and that’s when I should be centered on writing rather. I adhered to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I have really overhauled my outline and study process by using this template. It is a more productive part of my procedure now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, too.
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