The First Spider-Man

Before I ever heard of Peter Parker, I met a much trickier man. I remember how real he seemed. His cunning and wit, his selfishness and helpfulness, his comeuppances, his curses, and his gifts. He gave as often as he took, reminding me a few real people I knew. He went by a few names, but the one I best recall is Anansi.

Scenic Routes & Shortcuts

When drafting an outline, there are a few ways to incorporate the spine, the heart, the soul, the joints, and all the excess bits mentioned previously. You can choose to create a large, lengthy, detailed outline. This may work better for some, just as some prefer to take the scenic route in life. Others might occasionally take the scenic route but prefer shortcuts if they’ve already experienced the scenery. For example, if you’re writing a novel for the first time like yours truly, the scenic route is wisest.

Are we there yet?

Setting the stage for worldbuilding and beyond when outlining your novel.


Every novel needs a backstory like cultures need myths like people need spines. Without growing a backbone, our skeletons collapse on themselves. We’ve talked about the soul, the heart, the joints, and the skeleton of a story. Now it’s time to discuss that which holds our novel’s outline upright–the backstory.