How to Outline a Novel: the Master Guide (With Template!)

 

outline for novel

Easy novel outline techniques to plan your book step by step. How to write a novel from start to finish. Turn ideas for novels into finished books. Free worksheets for planning characters and scenes. Jan 18,  · A novel outline is a document that includes important planning information about your novel’s structure, plot, characters, scenes, and more. It is the skeleton of your novel. An outline can be anything from a one-page written document to a comprehensive visual mind map that uses diagrams to represent the link between information and ideas. Apr 16,  · How to Outline a Novel in 6 Ways. While you can incorporate the book outlining tips we shared in the non-fiction section above, creating an outline for your novel will be inherently different from creating a non-fiction outline. Your novel outline will require a few different elements like: character development; character arcs.


7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story | Writer's Digest


There are countless ways to outline a novel. Ultimately, the "right way to outline" is whatever way works best for you. To give you a few options to explore, this article will introduce you to a few of my favorite outlining methods.

But first Outlining isn't a moral imperative, and it doesn't work for everyone. For these and other reasons, outlines are often worthwhile. So, what are some possible ways to outline your novel? Jack, the mayor's son, is sent to fetch water.

Jill comes with him. They get injured while climbing the hill where the well is. Jack, who is the mayor's son, is sent outline for novel fetch outline for novel for the town. His girlfriend Jill comes with him, outline for novel. At the top of the hill where the well is, the two are attacked. They attempt to escape but trip and fall down the hill.

They are both injured. This process continues until every part of the story has the level of detail you want.

Whether you use the precise methodology of the snowflake or simply expand an idea repeatedly until you're satisfied, this method is a good way to identify when some of your ideas could still use development. Basically, the idea here is to write your story from beginning to end but replace all scenes and dialogue with summaries.

It's outline for novel entire story, outline for novel laid out while still at the maximum level of compression. Jack and Jill are called in for a royal audience. The king tells them they need to get water. They leave. They talk about the consequences of disobeying the king, deciding that they had better obey. They climb the hill, which is very steep.

At the top of the hill, they look around for a while. They talk about the tyranny of the kingdom, outline for novel, deciding that they hate the king and would rather die than serve him. Jack commits suicide by throwing himself down the mountain. Jill then does the same. When the people see this, they start a revolt. The revolt rages through the streets for a while.

They overthrow the king. This method helps give a outline for novel sense of the story and gives a good road-map for you to follow during the writing process itself. You've probably used skeletal outlines for academic papers before. It gives a good birds-eye view of your structure and can help you re-form your story for maximum impact. Exposition The story takes place in a village named Hillside We are introduced to Jack, who is a paladin. Inciting Incident Jack catches Jill stealing a crown.

While he's arresting her Falling action Falling VI. Just like a flashlight gives great illumination to what's near and only a small amount to what's far, the "flashlight method" of outlining is all about letting yourself discover the story gradually while still doing enough planning that you can anticipate any walls you're about to crash into.

Chapter 1. Jack is charming and flirtatious, but arrogantly thinks that the boys will have no trouble winning. Outline for novel he taunts Jill, she pushes past him and breaks his nose. Chapter 2. They start with a javelin throw, which Jack wins. Chapter 3. For the second challenge, Jack and Jill do some sort of gymnastic event, which Jill wins, outline for novel.

Jack outline for novel ahead but falls and gets injured, and Jill decides to help him instead of winning. Free-writing is the most pantser-friendly way to approach your story, and it's my personal favorite method for outlining a longer piece. The advantage of this method is that you can bring whatever level of detail and thought you happen to have available, make notes on your goals, and ask yourself questions as you go, outline for novel.

For example:. This story is about Jack and Jill, who are going to fetch some water. They're doing this for their town, because the town was built on top of some ancient ruins that contain a monster. This monster is paralyzed by water. The water has to come from a special well, which was blessed by a shaman a long time ago.

Jill is the descendant of this shaman, and she has some magical abilities, outline for novel, but she outline for novel know that at the beginning of the story. Jill has the obligation to get the water as part of the ceremony to paralyze the monster, but she doesn't believe that the monster really exists, because she's never seen it before and it's been gone for so long.

When going up the hill, Jack and Jill have to fight their way through multiple enemies, outline for novel. Maybe evil llamas of some sort. And lizards. At the top of the hill, Jack is injured and Jill chooses to stay with him. She finds she can magically control the elements, which she has to do to defend him. However, because she hasn't returned with the water for the ceremony, the monster begins to wake up and there is an earthquake while Jack and Jill are coming down the hill.

They both fall down and are injured again. For me, free-writing outline for novel so much about giving myself a road-map as it is about spontaneous idea generation and giving myself enough content that I can start to really daydream about my story. This is my second-favorite way to look at a story, partially because it gives you the freedom to draw in connections and expand on concepts on the fly.

Outline for novel won't share my example of this, partially because every person's approach will differ but mostly because I took a picture of my sketch and realized that my handwriting is completely illegible.

To summarize, I started with blocks for the core plot and character points and then branched off outline for novel these as I asked myself more questions. What was Jack's motivation?

He was the son of the mayor. Why did they need water? There was a drought. Why did they fall? Outline for novel was a cougar. Why was there a cougar? Because of the drought, maybe? You get the idea. Even if you choose not to write out your plot, there's a lot of advantage to writing about outline for novel context in which the story takes place, outline for novel.

That means developing your settingsystems e. Fulululu is a fairy kingdom where all plant-life serves as the homes of the fairy creatures.

All the fairies cast spells through the use of magical mushrooms, outline for novel. These mushrooms allow them to control time and space. Jack is half fairy and half dandelion. This has raised some controversy, as there are those in the kingdom who oppose fairies marrying dandelions. Jill is Jack's best friend. She is a dragonfly. With a sense of the world and characters, you can more easily launch into the story and get a stronger sense that characters are finding their own plot—all while keeping the tone and rules of your world consistent.

I've never used any software myself, so I can't personally testify to the effectiveness of any one option. A quick Google search will show you dozens of other options, and there are even those who advocate using non-traditional tools like Excel and Trello for your outline. These are just a few of the methods that have been recommended to me, that I've been exposed to, or that I've experimented with.

Hopefully at least one proves useful to you. Meanwhile, do you have any specific methods of your own? We'd love to hear your preferred approach in the comments, below. Robbie Blair is a world-wandering author and poet who blogs about his adventures, the writing craft, and more. He was doomed to write when, at just three years old, his English-professor father taught him the "To be or not to be" soliloquy. To leave a comment Login with Facebook or create a free account.

Great post. I've never heard of this many variations for outlining. I guess the snowflake method is the most famous one, at least on my part of Internet. The funny thing is, whenever I try it, outline for novel, my snowflakes gradually drift into freestyle sketches.

 

How to Outline a Novel (Even If Outlining Makes You Sick)

 

outline for novel

 

Easy novel outline techniques to plan your book step by step. How to write a novel from start to finish. Turn ideas for novels into finished books. Free worksheets for planning characters and scenes. May 06,  · Making an outline before you begin can help you stay organized and motivated. It can also make it easier for you to focus on moving your story forward. You can outline your novel using a narrative outline, the snowflake method or chapter outlining. If you prefer a less structured approach, you can try using freewriting to outline your novel%(6). Apr 16,  · How to Outline a Novel in 6 Ways. While you can incorporate the book outlining tips we shared in the non-fiction section above, creating an outline for your novel will be inherently different from creating a non-fiction outline. Your novel outline will require a few different elements like: character development; character arcs.