How to write an outline for a novel idea

Mentally writing in the shower is one of the perks of outlining, because it will get your thoughts percolating. Be sure to keep paper and pens scattered about so you can capture your brilliance the minute it bubbles up, rather than letting all those ideas fade away.

How to write an outline for a novel idea

Return to Content Plot outline creation: These seven ways to write a story outline appeal to different writing strengths. Choose a helpful outlining method that suits your personal writing preferences: How to outline a novel: The chapter is a convenient unit.

One strength of the traditional approach is its flexibility. You can take a notebook and give each page its own chapter heading, or you can write each chapter on an index card.

You can even create folders labelled for each chapter, in which you can store individual scene summaries or visual inspiration.

If you need to write more, you can. The synopsis In a synopsis, you write out the whole plot of your novel, condensed. This differs from a traditional outline in that you are not worrying too much about chapter breaks. One advantage of the synopsis is that it can feel more informal than the traditional approach.

Writers who struggle with breaking down a novel into units like chapters may enjoy writing a synopsis because it feels more like telling a story. If you are planning to send your novel around to agents and publishers, you will have to write a synopsis at some point.

Thus another advantage of this approach is learning an important marketing skill. Include any side note that will make it easier to get the bulk of your story down on paper. Outlining in this way can feel a little bit like free-writing.

The snowflake method The snowflake method is like a bridge between the more freewheeling methods above and some of the more structured methods that follow. When using the snowflake method, you begin with a one-sentence summary of your book followed by a paragraph-long summary.

Next, you summarize each of your main characters by listing their name, story line, goal, conflict and epiphany. You next expand each sentence of the one-paragraph plot summary into its own paragraph. Similarly, expand the character summaries into more detailed character sheets.

Next, expand each of your paragraphs into individual scenes that will make up your novel. Ingermanson suggests using a spreadsheet at this stage to keep track.

There is an additional optional step that involves expanding those brief scene descriptions even further, but by this point, most writeres are ready to get started.

Create A Plot Outline In 8 Easy Steps

You may want to use the snowflake method as written, or you may want to modify it for your own uses. It can be an excellent approach to plot outlining for writers who want to plan extensively before they begin to write. Three-act structure Of the many ways to write a plot outline, this is one of the best approaches for writers who are more concerned with structure than the specifics of plot.

It also makes it easier to plan the broader arcs of plot, however. Three-act structure is based on screenplay structure. In a novel, the first and final quarter of the story usually form approximately the first and third acts.

Act two is the remaining 50 percent in the middle. At its essence, the first act requires three main elements.

how to write an outline for a novel idea

Happens early on and sets your character on the path that will lead to the main conflict. The main conflict or first turning point:Jun 30,  · In fact, I have found it is a good idea to spend a few weeks just working on your novel outline and structure.

During this time you’re basically writing an abbreviated version of your story, figuring out plot twists, developing characters Reviews: For more ideas and creatives ways to jump-start your novel outline, check out How to Write a Novel Outline.

how to write an outline for a novel idea

Here’s the take-away: 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.

Writer's Digest Magazine

This summary should include a character or characters and an important problem or goal. How To Create A Plot Outline In 8 Easy Steps* By Glen C. Strathy. Follow @glencstrathy. How would you like to create a plot outline for your novel in less than an hour that is emotionally compelling and dramatically sound?

It's easier than you think. I have this genius idea to write a book about the topic that, in the book, breaks our. Brainstorming your story ideas When it is time to outline and write, fleshing out these scenes will be very simple.

How to write a novel: Got an idea . 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 .

How to write a novel | Brainstorming your book ideas | Books | The Guardian