Take Off Your Pants!

Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing
Narrated by: Nathan Agin
Length: 3 hrs and 49 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When it comes to writing books, are you a "plotter" or a "pantser"? Is one method really better than the other?

In this instructional book, author Libbie Hawker explains the benefits and technique of planning a story before you begin to write. She'll show you how to develop a foolproof character arc and plot, how to pace any book for a can't-put-down reading experience, and how to ensure that your stories are complete and satisfying without wasting any time or words. Hawker's outlining technique works no matter what genre you write, and no matter the age of your audience. If you want to improve writing speed, increase your backlist, and ensure a quality book before you even write the first word, this is the how-to book for you.

Take off your pants! It's time to start outlining.

©2016 Libbie Hawker (P)2017 Libbie Hawker

What listeners say about Take Off Your Pants!

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Love the Book. Hate the Narration

What did you like best about Take Off Your Pants!? What did you like least?

It is short, sweet, and to the point. It explains outlining in a clear and concise way. A very valuable instructional book on writing.

What other book might you compare Take Off Your Pants! to and why?

Write Your Book From the Middle, James Scott BellStory Genius, Lisa CronRock Your Plot, Cathy Yardley

How could the performance have been better?

I would have given the narration a 5 star review for the voice and reading style.The mispronounciations of the oft-repeated title, "Lolita," and the first name of the author of that title, "Vladimir," killed it for me. Can't listen.

Did Take Off Your Pants! inspire you to do anything?

Yes. It makes me want to be better at outlining.

7 people found this helpful

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Please re-record with someone who can pronounce Lolita!

He says it so many times. Does anyone listen back before these go out? Content is good though. Might look for a paper copy.

5 people found this helpful

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Great Writing Book

Loved it. The audio though misread Lolita's name as Laatida. I had no clue the book she was writing about until I looked at my place in the Ebook. Low-li-ta. Cracked me up after I figured out what he was saying.

1 person found this helpful

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Narrator can't pronounce common words

The info in this book is fine. It's not groundbreaking, but it may provide you with a few new angles. However, the audio was clearly never edited. The narrator mispronounces the classic book "Lolita" over and over and over... He also mispronounces the author's first name. Who doesn't know how to say Vladimir? I think the narrator must be a robot. Not a single real human listened to the audio before publishing. Unbearable.

1 person found this helpful

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Highly Recommended for Panthers AND Plotters

I've read a lot of books on craft and publishing. Like, a lot. I've tried writing both ways, plotting and pantsing, and I have found that plotting is unequivocally the way for me to go. I enjoyed my pantsing work, but the necessary rewrites to make a cohesive story and patch over plot holes added tens if not hundreds of hours to the projects. Hours that, had I sketched out an outline ahead of time, could have been avoided. I usually follow a loose version of the 'Save the Cat' beat structure, but that has almost nothing to do with character and can get formulaic if one sticks to it too rigidly. That's why I was so pleased to find that this book, 'Take Off Your Pants', advocated for a character-arc based outline! So many of the tips were practical, with hands-on, actionable steps. I've already begun implementing it into my current outlines, and my characters and story are coming to life in a way they never have before. If you struggle with creating characters that you feel are living, thinking people, or struggle with the more emotionally-based rather than plot-based arcs, I highly recommend this book to you!

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Extremely helpful

I am now a recovering pantser thanks to this book!! I have read countless books about outlining and plotting and this is the first one that felt realistic for my writing style and flexible enough that I don't feel stifles by it. 💗

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Very Helpful

I've seen 2 negative reviews of this book, and the rest are largely positive. Heed the positive reviews. The negatives I have seen have one thing in common: a complete and utter lack of understanding as to the purpose of the book. One reviewer went as far as to say "what does pants have to do with this? I couldn't even finish it!" Well. If you got this book to help you write books, and you don't have the forethought to actually consider that if you don't know what pantsing is, you probably need to know more about the craft before attempting a novel. Another review said that they felt abandoned after the instructional for the outline, and felt they needed more help fleshing out the story. Hello...this book is literally about how to write an outline, not how to write a book start to finish. This is a comprehensive, thoughtful, insightful, ever so helpful instructional that not only helps with an outline, but literally gives so much insight into the meat of a story that it can be completely eye opening and life changing for a writer, especially a beginner, a frustrated pantser or someone with writer's block. Excellent purchase, and clearly laid out. This book made some pieces fall into place for me that I had been lacking. It is a game changer.

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Great insights for beginning writers

if you are beginning a writer, this book will walk you through what a good outline looks like. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on pacing.

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  • JC
  • 08-05-19

Loved it!

I love the narration although in previous comments and feedback the narrator did mispronounce "Lolita" but since I read the book and followed up with the audiobook I really didn't have an issue with it. although the mispronunciation of the name I found the narration to be quite helpful and helping me reinforce what I read. this was a great audiobook and the physical copy was great helping me reinforce how to outline my future novels.

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Narration ruined this book

The narrator reads too slowly, and mispronounces several words. After the tenth time he butchered Lolita, I had to stop listening because it was too distracting. Wish I could have my money back so I could still support the author and purchase the printed version.

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  • Miss I.
  • 10-28-19

Brilliant for new and old writers

This is a v simple accessible unpretentious explanation of how to write a novel. I sometimes found the reading of it a bit stiff but he was amiable and it flowed very well

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  • Srjane
  • 09-02-19

Great ideas

A step by step guide for plotting your novel. I read it at one sitting and took notes as we went. Can't wait to try it out - this will certainly become one of my go to author tools. I was a little confused towards the end regarding plotting but plan to read it again.

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  • Beacon97
  • 07-29-18

A simple basic way to write

This is an adequate book for those who have not read other books on structure. Its simple outline is marred by the narrator's extremely strange pronunciation of words - particularly mutilating the author Vladimir Nabokov's name and rather infuriatingly insisting on pronouncing Loilta as Low-leee-taaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Very annoying! Especially as this reference is used throughout the book.

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  • Sarah
  • 06-25-18

Terrible narration -

It's only a short audiobook, but even so, I couldn't even get half way through this due to the narration - the repeated pronunciation (as others have commented) of "Lolita" or "Lolly-tar" as pronounced by the narrator (among other things) was just too unbearable to continue! I believe the book will be extremely useful, and so I am going to buy the hard copy version instead.