I hoped your work would be good but it is absolutely amazing! I am so excited reading my manuscript. Your feedback and suggestions are super!
Doctrow, quoted on the process of writing said: Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way.
What would you need to know about your story at the very least to begin? I am interested in hearing from you on this. Minimal Story Criteria Main character Conflict without conflict you do not have a story You could expand this out further to add extra detail if you want but for simplicity, we will stick with these two sets of criteria.
What if there was a vicious attack dog guarding a dark secret in the yard next door?
How to Outline a Novel Using the small amount of information we have come up with, we could plan the first few chapters using some brainstorming exercises what-if game, mind mapping, and more to start sketching out a rough outline.
Remember we are not trying to plan the whole story, rather, just enough to begin writing. Chapter 2- One night Bobby witnesses the dog digging and sees what looks like a human bone in the dirt.
Bobby sees the dog with dirt caked on his paws and what looks like blood on his teeth. After you have brainstormed out the first few chapters and you feel comfortable with the beginning, you can start to write knowing you are heading for the furthest you could see with your headlights in our case Bobby goes with his parents next door.
Ideas will spring up and detours may happen but the structure can hold your course. When you reach the end of whatever chapter you last sketched out, take a break and look back at what you wrote. Do you like it? Are there characters that showed up that you did not expect and need further explaining?
Yet, the question that is most important after reaching your stopping point is: From here you take any notes you made during your initial writing i.
More than likely, while you were writing the first few chapters, your brain was already playing ahead and informed you of where the story wanted to go. Just remain aware of where your mind is going and take notes.
That does not mean you have to use everything in your notes but having it written down will help with getting it out of your head so you can focus on writing. Once you come up with enough meat for the next few chapters, sit down and start the process again. Then rinse and repeat until you have finished your novel.
In the craft of writing there are no ruleswell maybe just one, and that is… there are no rules. You can start with nothing and begin writing or have the whole novel mapped out before you put pen to paper, your choice.
If you feel like you need more details just add them. We could have started our list with more details than just a main character and some conflict. Writing formulas and strategies come and go, but there are basic story elements that are essential.If the book is nonfiction, the outline should include a description of each character, including his personality traits and his relationship to the other characters.
A fiction or creative nonfiction outline should have a fairly comprehensive description of setting. At Self-Publishing School, we encourage students to make a mess with their mindmap.
Regardless of what your mind map looks like in the end, it is an essential element to your book writing process. This mind map will be the jumping off point for you to begin your outline. And there you have it, folks, a quick & easy method to outline your nonfiction book.
I trust that this basic nonfiction outline template has given you enough juice to get started. This book shares the step by step detailed process of the “thick paragraph” outlining method that is shown in the book outline below. For example, you might write “The author debates that travel gives you a new perception.
It is why the author’s main character seems happier after visiting new places.” If the work is fictional, look to see if the author is using the story to pass a lesson. Certainly, if you had a uncomplicated outline you’d be doing more writing than dreaming. With these easy step by step directions, you will have your complete book outline in place in just a few minutes.
How to Outline a Novel- The Headlight Method This post is kicking off on-going, but non-sequential series unofficially titled Outlining v.s. Discovery Writing, in which we look at a variety of methods to outline a novel, whether you are a pantser or a plotter.