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  • hi everyone happy saturday so as some of you may know i have recently

  • completed the outline for my brand new book project

  • yay! and while I was going through the process

  • i was reminded of just how hard it is to outline a book

  • it's been a while since I've done one and i think i had forgotten just how

  • overwhelming and frustrating the process can be

  • now I know some of you out there are saying ha! that's why I don't do outlines

  • and you know what

  • fair enough but I am a huge believer in outlines and i'm the type of writer

  • that can't function without one

  • here's what I've realized there are so many different ways you can outline and

  • just because something works for one book it doesn't necessarily mean that

  • that's going to be your go-to for future books so i really wanted to do a video

  • about all the different types

  • I already have one video on how to outline which i will link to below but i

  • really wanted to give you guys an introduction on some of the other ways

  • you can outline and hopefully by adding these to your writing tool box it will

  • prepare you for whatever your outlining needs may be now

  • will this list include all the different ways outline well no like I said there

  • are lots and we don't want a 35 minute video now do we but these are ones that are

  • my favorites and the ones i think are the most useful and the most helpful

  • so here are the five different methods that you can try when outlining your

  • novel number one

  • this snowflake method if you're the type of writer who gets really intimidated by

  • the idea of outlining or you struggle to come up with ideas

  • the snowflake method might be one that you want to give a try this method of

  • outlining is the brainchild of fellow novelist Randy Ingermanson and the whole

  • idea behind this approach is to start small to take a single overarching idea

  • and expand it very slowly

  • the first step is to write a single sentence blurb for your book

  • this is basically a summary sentence that details the foundation of your story

  • once you've done that then the next step is to take that sentence and expand it

  • into a paragraph dividing the information into the three main acts of

  • your story

  • this is going to give you an overall snapshot of your plot the next step is

  • to move on to your characters for each of your characters write a one-page

  • character profile giving specific details about what that character hopes

  • to accomplish by the end of the story

  • then you jump back to plot take that paragraph and expand it into a one or

  • two page synopsis then guess what you move back to characters adding more

  • information and details as you flesh out what the story is going to look like and

  • so on and so on

  • from there it's all about taking what you've written and expanding it

  • there are 10 total steps in the snowflake method and in theory by the

  • time you've completed them you'll have a thoroughly fleshed-out plot and really

  • well developed characters

  • I'm not tried this method myself but I know a lot of writers who swear by it and

  • if you think about it

  • this method would also be super helpful if you plan to query your books later on

  • because you have to have those condensed versions for your synopsis and your query

  • letter which you will have already done

  • the snow flake method is definitely one you want to give a try

  • number two, the three-act structure this particular method of outlining is what i would

  • consider to be the traditional form of outlining and it involves breaking your

  • story down into 3 acts, act 1 2 & 3 or beginning, middle and end this is a

  • really great method for writers who are looking for a really solid foundation to

  • their story or a very organized structure that they can work with

  • it's also good for people who aren't really worrying so much about all of the little

  • intricate details more about kind of the overall big picture and it's also really

  • great for plot-driven stories as opposed to character-driven using this structure

  • breaks down your story into three main chunks and each of those chunks consists

  • of specific elements for example in act 1 you get the introduction of the main

  • character and what everyday life

  • looks like for them we also need to see in act 1 some sort of inciting

  • incident, something that's going to launch the protagonist out of everyday

  • life and onto the journey of the story and we also need to see some sort of

  • hint or introduction of the major conflict

  • Act 2 is considered to be the bulk of your story and in Act 2 what we need to

  • see is all of the scenes and the action and everything that takes place

  • leading up to the climax of your story and finally there's act 3 which kicks

  • off with the main character facing whatever the main opposition of thestory is

  • and then of course whatever resolution there is to be had in terms of

  • organizing all of this information i think the best way to go about it is

  • good old roman numerals and bullet points so roman numeral one act

  • one and then all the bullet points are all of the scenes and things that you

  • want to include in that act roman numeral 2 act 2 all the bullet points are all

  • the scenes you get where I'm going with this

  • ok so this is a very clean and organized way of outlining

  • number three, the corkboard method

  • this is a beloved method for quite a few writers that i know and i have actually

  • used variations of this in the past so this is definitely a tried and true

  • method in order to outline using the corkboard method you're going to need

  • several packs of index cards

  • some markers and thumb tacks and a big old cork bulletin board to start you

  • take each of the main plot devices in your story and write them down on

  • individual cards you're going to do the same thing with your sub plots. i like to

  • use different color cards for main plot vs subplot but whatever floats your boat

  • ok any major plot device minor plot device any scene that you might have in

  • your head but you're not sure where it fits in your story

  • you're going to write it down on a card everything gets its own individual card

  • on that card you want to write down a one to two-sentence, kind of detailing

  • what that little plot device is about you don't have to be super detailed but you

  • need at least a one to two-sentence summary

  • once you've worked through all of your story plot lines then you should have a lovely

  • little stack of index cards in your hand

  • the next step lay them all out on the floor and arrange them on the board

  • this is your opportunity to experiment to try different things to test out

  • different levels of

  • pacing and sequencing and structure that's what's so great about this

  • particular type of outlining it's organized but it gives you a lot of

  • freedom within that organization

  • once you have the cards in the order that you like then you flip them over

  • and that's where you really begin to flesh out the details of the scene

  • it can be bullet points or sentences or maybe snippets of dialogue

  • whatever you need to help you best envision the scene

  • what's great about this method too is just because you've put it in a particular order

  • it doesn't mean that you're stuck to that order

  • As you start writing and as new ideas come along

  • you can take the the cards off the board and rearrange them

  • however necessary for the flow of your story number four the goals, stakes, and

  • motivations method this is the method that I used to outline keeper and I do already

  • have a video on this method but i wanted to go ahead and mention it on this one

  • as well because it is one of my favorites and I really think this level

  • of outlining helps create strong developed well-rounded characters

  • so if you find that your story is very character-driven and not so much plot- driven

  • then i really encourage you to give this method a shot basically for this approach

  • what you want to stop and think about is what are your characters' goals at the

  • beginning of the story

  • what is the character's goal and then what is the motivation behind that goal

  • you also want to take it a step further and think about the stakes

  • what is at stake if the character doesn't achieve that goal

  • so you're going to want to do this for all of your characters including your Antagonist.

  • Throughout the course of the book the characters' goals are going to

  • change due to the momentum of the story

  • so you need to know at each different act what those goals

  • look like and what scenes in what action and dialogue

  • you need to include to show that transformation of the goals

  • let me give you an example. In a court of thorns and roses by Sarah J. Maas the

  • main character Feyre's goal in the beginning of the story is to find meat

  • she's out hunting

  • what's the motivation behind this goal well her family is starving they are

  • hungry and if she doesn't bring home meat they don't eat

  • what's at stake if she fails they'll die however when Feyre gets taken into the

  • land of the fairies her goal changes and instead of trying to provide for her family

  • her goal is to escape back to the mortal world what's the motivation survival

  • what's at stake well if the fairies catch her trying to escape she might die they might

  • torture and kill her

  • so you see as the story progresses the character's goals and motivations and the

  • stakes behind those are going to change for each of your characters

  • you need to think about the progression of this change and what it's going to

  • look like in terms of your story

  • once you've nailed down all of the goals and have detailed and fleshed out those

  • ideas then the next step is to determine whatever scenes or bits of action are

  • necessary to bring that progression to life

  • I do this using post its a kind of my own variation of the corkboard method but you

  • can easily do a bullet point list if you need to but the main focus here with

  • this method is goals, motivations and stakes for each of your characters and

  • in each act of the story.

  • and lastly number five Freytag's Pyramid. i don't know if other people actually use

  • this but Freytag's pyramid is actually what i used to finish my outline for my

  • new book and it kind of makes me laugh a little bit because this is not something

  • that I ever thought about in terms of outlining this is a concept that I teach

  • in my english classes when I'm talking to my students about how to analyze

  • literature but this was something that I found extremely useful when i was working

  • on the outline i was struggling in my ideas down on paper and this is just

  • what worked for me so aint life crazy

  • this approach is very similar to the three-act structure it's just a little

  • bit more visual in my opinion

  • Gustav Freytag was a German novelist who broke down the concept of storytelling

  • into 5 main components: The exposition, the rising action,

  • the climax, the falling action, and the resolution

  • he then took these five components and diagrammed them visually in a structure now

  • known as Freytag's Pyramid. It looks like this. Not familiar with the terms

  • let me review those for you real quick. the exposition is where we get the setting the

  • introduction of the characters and a sneak peek into what the main character's

  • everyday life looks like the rising action is all of the action that

  • ultimately leads up to the climax of the story

  • what's the climax of the story the moment where the main character faces

  • the main opposition falling action is basically where loose ends are tied up

  • and all of your subplots come together and then finally the resolution

  • of the story is where the main character continues on except life looks a little

  • bit different where they have found a new normal

  • so to speak what I love about this method is that you don't have to work

  • linearly if you don't want to you when i started outlining my new book project I had

  • the exposition

  • I had the climax and I had the revolution in mind

  • nothing else and so for me it really helped plotting those on a visual

  • diagram and then simply saying ok so to get from here to here

  • what is everything that has to happen in between and to go from here to here

  • what is everything that has to happen in between it was a very visual way of

  • outlining for me that I found super helpful

  • again it is very very similar to the three-act structure so if you're more of

  • a list person then maybe try that one but if you're somebody who needs that

  • visual to help them kind of breakthrough the blocks then i definitely recommend

  • using Freytag

  • to help outline your book. Alrighty folks there you have it five different methods that

  • you can try when outlining i really hope these are helpful to you and if you have

  • a favorite that i didn't mention please let me know i would love to know how you

  • go about outlining your stories

  • if you're new to my channel thank you so much for stopping by i'm so happy to see you

  • make sure you subscribe on your way out, I post new videos on Saturdays

  • if you have a question for me or just want to say hello and you can leave me a

  • comment below or you can tweet me at underscore Kim Chance. i hope you guys are

  • having a stellar weekend and I'll see you next week. Bye!

hi everyone happy saturday so as some of you may know i have recently

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B1 US method outline plot character main main character

How to Outline your Novel (Updated!)

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    Cathy ♥ posted on 2018/11/27
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