Today we will be talking about outlining a novel! This post isn’t going to be the most helpful for the pantsers out there but I hope that this sincerely helps a lot of writers, just as much as it has helped me!
A lot of very well known authors will say that they swear by their novel outlines and that some of the most intricately written novels, have outlines triple the size! So if anything, that is a great indicator of how useful a good outline can be! Here is the list of things that I do every time I sit down with a new novel idea!
Benefits of Outlining a Novel:
– You can get organized before you start writing, making it way easier to stay on track with word counts and goals and the original ideas!
– Helps you stay on the path that so easily deviated when writing a novel, ESPECIALLY MYSTERY OR FANTASY!
– Gives you a layout of what should go where.
From my experience, I have only been successful when writing outlines in document format, a lot of writers will swear by the post-it method shown above, or the cue card method, but I am personally great with a document of key points that I have to hit. This being said, I am going to be trying the post-it method in the form of scrivener this year! So we’ll see how that goes!
The good thing about cue cards or post-its is that they can be laid out and viewed in mass. If you have a large wall that is unoccupied, post its and walls make amazing storyboards. Also whiteboards or chalkboards! Its all about the BIG picture! The good thing about this is that it is not only organized but it is also motivational! Just think, every time you finish a key point you get to go and tear that sticky note down. Could you imagine the anticipation of the wall during the last chapter, gah it makes my mouth water!
If you don’t have experience writing with an outline, maybe this year is the year to give it a shot! I am going to be talking more later on about what exactly to include in an outline but for now, you just need to think about characters! THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!
So I’m going to leave you with that, and I really encourage you to pull out a fresh notepad and start brainstorming ONLY your characters. Don’t give them too much backstory yet, I just want you to talk about them, their mannerisms, their appearance, some brief family history! That’s it! That’s all!
Leave me a comment below with some cool ways that you outline your novels!