Outlining a Novel VI

Now that we have our synopsis, blurb, and summary, as well as a list of characters and their traits and back stories, we are ready to create the outline. Remember that I like to use an alternating Action/Reaction series of scenes – but I don’t yet care about chapter breaks.

Sample Outline
Sample Outline

I’ve done up a few scenes for the example, to show you what I create before writing. While I do this I have the full summary printed next to me so I can follow it. Often, the summary will change based on the outline I create, if a particularly interesting idea comes to mind. Yet, it is an excellent tool to try to remember the flow of scenes we need.

This example is far from complete, only four scenes that might encompass two (possibly 3) chapters. It is for illustration purposes. Once your outline is complete, sit on it a few days or even a week, then come back to it and revise if anything jumps out at you!

That’s my system – it might work for you, or you might have a better system. But by following the steps in this little blog series, you’ll have a tightly-focused plot that flows well with a natural-feeling rhythm.

Please excuse the typo in the outline. It’s just a tool to use while writing, after all…

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