Many fiction authors find that outlining is an essential piece of their writing process. An outline is a method of organizing plot points to create a fleshed out and meaningful story. There is no one way to outline for fiction. You may have ordered list with summaries of each chapter. You may have a stack of 3x5 cards with a plot point written on each one. You may have a massive mindmap of ideas. The only important thing about outlining is creating a viable plot arc that will draw in readers and keep them captivated for hundreds of pages.
So what do you include in a fiction outline? One important piece of an outline is a number of standard plot points. First, there will be the inciting incident. This is the moment that leads to every other moment in the novel. It can be a big moment like a murder or something simple like a door left unlocked. Next, the hero of the story will have to make a decision because of inciting incident. This will lead to a series of incidents that will cause the tension in the story escalate to the point called the mid-point.
The mid-point of the story is a point of no return for the hero. After this point, there will be another series of incidents that will continue to add rising tension to the story until the hero faces her darkest moment. After the hero faces her darkest moment she is ready for the climax of the story. This is the place of greatest tension in the story. After the climax there is quick falling tension called the denouement, revealing the final outcome of your story.
A strong outline will reveal what the main character wants and follow their journey to fulfillment or ultimate despair. It will include major side-characters and enemies. It should also include some details about the setting. An outline should include the hero's internal and external desires. It should also include the plot points from above.
Writers should also look at similar books to help them devise an outline that is viable. Decide how many chapters your book will need. Also decide the length of the chapters. This will help you pace your story effectively. Usually each chapter of a novel will include one or two scenes and very occasionally three. If your choose the summary outling method, write short chapter summaries that include the appropriate number of scenes. Be sure each described scene moves forward the action of the story.
There are many outlining resources available to writers. Purdue OWL, a free online writing lab, offers expert guidance on developing outlines. You might want to purchase software to help you create an outline. Check out popular writing programs: Scrivner and Inspiration. You might want to check out a couple of books. Look at Story by Robert McKee and Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K. M. Weiland, both offer expert guidance on how to create a structure that will ensure that your novel breaks out in the marketplace.
© Copyright 2018 Author Learning Center. All Rights Reserved