“Write Before You Write: Outlining, Planning, Plotting” ONLINE with Jennifer Ziegler

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Do you ever start a manuscript and end up lost in your own story or know your plot but still find that your writing is blocked?

Before launching into writing that exciting new book idea, it’s important to take key first steps that will help prevent project-killing situations. If you tend to get lost in your own story, find yourself written into logistical corners, or get told that your book is too “thin” or has “unrelatable characters,” this is the class for you. This class will identify common problems, prescribe remedies, practice helpful exercises, and discuss how you can keep going until “The End.” Discover the pre-writing steps you should take depending on you and your project.


Participants will walk away with a clearer idea of what kinds of writers they are and how they need to approach and prepare for new writing projects, plus tips and tricks they can use before launching into a writing project.


  • You’re writing long-form narrative, such as novels, novellas, memoirs, or plays.
  • You tend to get lost in your own stories and eventually give up.
  • You are often told that your characters come off as flat, unbelievable, or difficult to relate to.
  • You are still learning about yourself as a writer and need to discover the process that works best for you. 


  • “She is so knowledgeable and designed the materials to be relevant to a wide variety of writers.”
  • “Loved Jennifer’s characterizations of writers as either blobs or skeletons, and her tools aimed for both.”
  • “I continue to be impressed with the accessibility of the material and the instructors for all of the WLT courses. This particular class covered a lot of useful ground.”


Jennifer Ziegler is the author of more than 25 books, including everything from stand-alone novels to series work to TV tie-ins, that range in genre from quirky comedy to action-adventure to dystopian. Her books have been featured on the Lone Star List and International Reading Association’s Young Adults Choice list, recommended on NPR’s “Tell Me More,” optioned for film, and adapted into stage musicals. She also had the honor of serving as The Writers’ League of Texas’s Program Director for several years. Jennifer lives with her husband, author Chris Barton, in Austin, where she continues to write books, lead writing workshops, and give presentations at schools, conferences, and book festivals.

Submitted by Lindsey Ferris. Email: wlt@writersleague.org Website: http://www.writersleague.org/calendar/WriteBeforeYouWriteZieglerSept2020