In my attempts to outline my novel I did a lot of online reading as well as the books I’ve previously mentioned. Google will find you many sites which offer help with outlining a (fiction) book, but I’ve gathered 20 useful articles. Which one suits you?
- This starts small and builds up from a single sentence for your story, to a complete novel. It does assume your initial sentence is good though:
2. This is like the reverse of the snowflake method – start with some questions, imagine scenes that answer them, then write a sentence to describe the overall story:
3. This helps you build a scene list for a novel:
4. This has 8 story structure elements, different to others I’ve seen:
5. Like a Lady Boss? Surely that’s just a Boss, the same way we no longer have Lady Doctors, or Authoresses? But anyway. This is an overall strategy for your book, including outlining:
6. This is part of the Guardian’s series, 30 Days to Write a Novel, or more accurately, 30 days to outline a novel. It goes into enormous detail and for a total pantser like me, is terrifying. 30 days before you can write? What? It’s high quality advice though:
7. This takes a workshop format to build up an outline:
8. Oh my god so much detail in this I can feel the creative life force being drained from me. Sorry. If you love micro-managing your writing, this is for you:
9. This has a great checklist to make sure every scene is adding to your story. No fluff allowed!
10. This is very strict – answer 9 questions to develop a chapter list, then the remaining 15 to complete a detailed outline:
11.This is high level novel-writing strategy, but it includes what to consider when crafting your outline:
12. The Plot ‘Skeleton’. Ugh. But it explains it clearly:
13. This is very detailed and you’ll need to up your browser zoom to read it but:
14. Short and sweet, with further links to explore:
15. For pantsers:
16. This uses the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to illustrate story structure:
17. This is very similar indeed to the snowflake outline:
18. So is this:
19. This is very straightforward and would work for pantsers as well as plotters:
20. This comes with various free templates. The spreadsheet one is pretty good:
And finally this – if you’ve read all of these and tried them and still your story will not be shoehorned into any of these outline shapes:
21. Pants it.