Danielle Hanna

Hearth & Homicide Fiction

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My Outline for 2015

file4591291436469The word “resolution” is usually synonymous with “failure.” So I’m not doing New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I’m doing an outline.

Outlines are a big deal in the world of authors. Some of us never write a book without first jotting down at least a list of events. (And others are deathly allergic to ’em.) The trick to a successful outline is not sticking to it religiously, but knowing when to deviate from the course you laid out. Sometimes, the story just calls you elsewhere, and you have to go with it.

So that’s what I’m doing for 2015. An outline.

Actually, I’m doing two of them. One professional (more commonly known as a “business plan”), one personal. In brief, this is what they look like:


  • Publish 2 novels (Mailboat and a sequel)
  • Maybe line up some workshops and speaking engagements based on my book Journaling to Become a Better Writer
  • Hire a virtual assistant to help with book promo and general administrative muck


  • Get better at time management so I can …
  • Get out of bed in the mornings ūüėõ …
  • Walk my dog Molly every day …
  • Go camping more often …
  • Take up cross-country skiiing or snowshoeing or kayaking … or all three
  • Visit family out-of-state

How about you? Do you have an outline for your upcoming year?

A Note to My Friends from Embark on Adventure: 

IMAG0039 - Copy (3) (640x640)Hey, guys! I hope you found your way over here. It really broke my heart to end the outdoors blog. The good news is, writing is keeping me really busy! As promised, Molly the Adventure Dog and Juliean the Superior Cat will continue to check in here at my author blog and keep you updated on our adventures in the Great Outdoors. We can’t wait for more adventures in 2015! Thanks for being awesome!

If You Keep a Journal, You Are a Storyteller

file0001168789062Journaling coach Nathan Ohren told me the connection wasn’t immediately obvious to him–journaling and story writing. The founder of the Write4Life website and author of several journaling courses and workshops, he has more than 27 years of journaling experience behind him. But he says he never saw himself as a storyteller.

Well, heck.¬†If you’ve been journaling the story of your life, you are a storyteller!

I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Nathan on his JournalTalk podcast, where we discussed some of the many cross-overs between journal writing and story writing. Beyond discussing the technical storycraft skills you can develop in your personal journal, we talked about the importance of being supremely open with yourself and using that honesty to make you a more authentic person, followed by a more authentic writer. We discussed the many therapeutic benefits of journal writing, of novel writing, and even of reading.

During the interview, I also discuss the major life events that led to my epiphanies on being honest with myself and being a story writer in my own journal. (It started with a stray dog.) These same events led to the writing of my new book, Journaling to Become a Better Writer.

So whether you’re a long-time wordsmith, or you’ve never set pen to paper, there should be something interesting here for you to enjoy.

Our 30-minute interview is now live and can be heard right here: Journal-Keeping Tips for Fiction Writers


Where to Stalk Nathan Ohren, journaling coach: 

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