Now that your ideas are dressed up in their Sunday best, we’re going to line them up to take pictures. OUTLINING is actually my favorite part of my writing process because it’s the stage where everything comes together.
I can go a bit wild, but I also bring things to order. It’s very satisfying.
If you haven’t already checked out my YouTube channel, I have videos of myself going through each of these steps. You can find that HERE.
OUTLINING is the step in which I take all my little sticky notes or bullet points or scraps of paper and sort them. Usually something as simple as BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END. This goes in the OUTLINE section of my
which now stores all the paper I have gathered to this point. Yes, I start a new notebook for every novel. The NOVEL NOTEBOOK houses everything from the first brainstorming idea to the ZERO DRAFT.
Then it’s time to get digital.
I prefer to work in a spreadsheet for OUTLINING these days because I can type everything once, then copy and paste part or all of my words over to a different document later when I’m DRAFTING.
PANTSERS again have a lot of freedom in this step since you can really write whatever you want for your outline points. The first novel I drafted this way was nearly one third complete by the time I finished my outline.
Many times I will organize my works by ACTS or PARTS then each PLOT POINT in order. The beauty of this step is that you don’t have to know everything about your story yet. You can fill in the blanks as you go.
- ACT 1
- Ordinary world
- Inciting incident
- ACT 2
- 1st plot point
- 1st pinch point
- 2nd pinch point
- 2nd plot point
- ACT 3
- Final Battle
This very simple outline has served me so well I must recommend it. As you can see, it is open to almost any kind of story. OUTLINING will keep your story organized and flowing smoothly…
NEXT WEEK, we’ll explore DRAFTING or FINALLY STARTING THE WRITING PROCESS to those of you with no patience for plotting. See you then.