1. booksandnoodles

    booksandnoodles Member

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    Outlining?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by booksandnoodles, May 18, 2016.

    Hi guys! I have realized with my story, maybe my word count (I had a previous thread on word count) might be short because I haven't been expanding my story or planning enough. I am an ENFP (if anyone is into mbti) and we're usually known for 'writing at our own pace' and 'brainstorming,' but as of now I have been very frustrated. I want to make sure I know every single thing that is going to happen within my story; I can't find a proper outlining method to do so. What I mean by that is: 1. I want to know what is happening through every chapter, but still be able to track my theme and my MC's journey.

    My writing is a little shorter than novel standards you could say. I found a girl named Kaytastic's outlining

    But i'm a little confused by this method, but it seemed helpful. I was just wondering with this method, could you combine some of the blocks and chapters? But anyways, if you know any methods that you use/that you know, please tell me :)

    Thanks
     
  2. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

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    I have seen this before. It dose not really work for me but it was interesting to watch and gives a good show in Scrivener.
     
  3. Artemus19

    Artemus19 New Member

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    The thing about outlining that I always found useful was to use a whiteboard to brainstorm. The reason being that it's easy to wipe away something that doesn't feel right. It's easy than dragging your cursor to the culprit of your block and hitting backspace a thousand times before you can start over again. Plus, on a board all the information is in your field of view, and if you use different colors for different things, such as events, character choices, blah blah blah, then it becomes much easier to outline. I find that using a whiteboard has considerably helped flesh out scenes that were previously decrypt of much information. Good luck to you!
     
  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I have a spreadsheet with chapter numbers as rows and column headings: "Main events", "Character 1's arc", "Character 2's arc" and "Conflict."

    This shows how their arc progresses through the chapters. For example, in Chapter 1 the character's arc column might say "She has no self-esteem" and in the Epilogue it might say "She believes she can do anything." There will be several steps between those two showing how she changes throughout the novel. Not every chapter will have a step, but they should occur at intervals along the way.

    The conflict column ensures there's a source of tension in each and every chapter, which IMO is crucial.

    It usually ends up a 2-3 page document, and doesn't take long to produce. It works for me.
     
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  5. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

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    I have read a few books and blogs on the pros and cons of outlining. I have also read much on the pros and cons of not outlining. I am seeing good and bad points all around and generally am confused abut what I want to do. So I have thought of a in between happy place that i think will work for me, Information. Not a strict outline and not just typing and off we go but more of a organized collection of loose ideas and thoughts that may or may not end up in the book. I think I will create this either in Scrivener or excel.
     
  6. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    I take notes on google docs. Works for me and it's easy to share with my family since everyone has a google account I just use the share function.
     
  7. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    This is why I don't read "How to write" books. It's so individual and each of us has to find our own method.
     
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  8. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I might nick that if you don't mind :D
     
  9. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    I write my outline by hand. I start at the beginning and start writing. "How do I want to start this book? Maybe she's in the barn with [name] and sees the dead cow. Then they talk about whether it's the sickness or not." Etc. I continue to do this, for the entire book, until I have every chapter planned out. For conversations, I just put a vague "they talk about [subject] here," and I figure out the emotions involved in it later.

    Then, I make a short outline on Scrivener, with "Chapter," "Synopsis," "Day," and "Additional." (The day column is specific to my book -- the MC is on a deadline.) In the Synopsis column, I literally summarize everything that happens in that chapter for quick reference (goes to city, becomes Eir, fights with vendor, etc). Additional is only there in case I come up with something new. I'll just make a little note of it there.

    Exactly! When I first started, I read loads and loads of how-to books. And I think they hindered me more than helped. I was trying so hard to do it their way that my stories started to feel forced. But now I have my own way and it works so much better for me than any of the suggestions in those books.
     
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