How to write an outline for a novel idea

Hey, not only that, but we non-outliners have a name!

How to write an outline for a novel idea

Share via Email Illustration: Jot down notes as they come to you and put them into their own folders.

Why Bother with an Outline?

Make sure you create project folders for all of your strongest story ideas, even those you may not write for years. Keep your brain in gear So long as you brainstorm constantly and productively during both the outlining and writing processes, you will always be fully prepared to begin writing — without agonising over the starting sentence or paragraph.

Keeping the outline, the story in general, or specific scenes ticking over in your mind throughout the day can help untangle basic issues like timelines, character relationships and threads of a story. At times you may even work out whole conversations in your head.

When it is time to outline and write, fleshing out these scenes will be very simple. You must brainstorm productively if you want the writing process to go smoothly and quickly. The brainstorming process will enable you to do all the hard plotting and characterisation work while creating your outline.

The day or week before you begin actually writing a certain scene, start brainstorming selectively on that scene. This makes it that much easier to sit down and begin work immediately when the time comes.

There will be times when you find yourself mentally blocked, unable to puzzle out a certain idea. If that happens, try some of the suggestions listed below: Buy yourself something your main character would like.

Surreptitiously observe those around you to get ideas from gestures, movements, hints of an overheard conversation, or even just the way people look.

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

These will come in handy when you create character and setting sketches in the next chapter. Clip articles about strange and interesting events from newspapers and save them for use when you need idea boosts.

Without the distractions of daily life at home, you may be able to write and brainstorm faster and more clearly. Seeing it in person may well inspire new directions for your story.

I outline knowing what my premise is and how my character arc ties into the initiating event, plot and pinch points, black moment, climax, etc. only because if I don’t, I’ll end up writing an extra pages for a page book because I’m writing as I plan and planning as I write (total waste of time). For more ideas and creatives ways to jump-start your novel outline, check out How to Write a Novel Outline. Here’s the takeaway: No matter which option you choose, ultimately, you’ll write faster and better with a book outline. 4) Write a summary in sentences of your novel's main idea. You can imagine that you're writing the blurb for the book jacket. This summary should include a .

Write what ideas you do have; you can supplement and polish later. Brainstorm as much as you can both before you start a project and while you work on it. Brainstorming is what spurs you to start and continue outlining, and what provides you with the inner resources to write with those magical elements infused in the most memorable books.

She is also the author of the bestselling writing reference book, From First Draft to Finished Novel:Once you have an outline, you will know every single day what you'll be writing about in your book.

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You won't have to decide where the story is going as you write, because you'll have done all. For more ideas and creatives ways to jump-start your novel outline, check out How to Write a Novel Outline.

Here’s the take-away: No matter which option you choose, ultimately, you’ll write faster and better with a book outline. I outline knowing what my premise is and how my character arc ties into the initiating event, plot and pinch points, black moment, climax, etc.

only because if I don’t, I’ll end up writing an extra pages for a page book because I’m writing as I plan and planning as I write (total waste of time). 4) Write a summary in sentences of your novel's main idea. You can imagine that you're writing the blurb for the book jacket.

This summary should include a character or characters and an important problem or goal.

how to write an outline for a novel idea

Though you may not have an outline per se, obviously you must have an idea or you have no business in that chair. I repeat: don’t go to the keyboard with nothing to say. Come with an idea!

Be able to state it in one sentence. Tell me what your story is about.

how to write an outline for a novel idea

My first novel was about a judge who tried a man for a murder that the judge had committed. 4) Write a summary in sentences of your novel's main idea. You can imagine that you're writing the blurb for the book jacket.

This summary should include a .

4 Ways to Outline a Novel - wikiHow