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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!
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How to Outline your Novel (Updated!)

1420 Folder Collection
Cathy ♥ published on December 13, 2018    Cathy ♥ translated    Evangeline reviewed
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