How to write a story outline for a novel

International prices may vary. How to Write a Script Outline: You can create the most interesting character in the world, but without an equally interesting plot, the audience will not want to spend minutes with that person. But would they want to spend an hour and a half of their lives watching him swill alcohol, do drugs, and oogle women?

How to write a story outline for a novel

Learn the easy way to write a novel outline so you can work smarter and faster with fewer mistakes. Source Why Bother with an Outline? If you outline your novel before you start writing you ensure your story has a sensible structure from the beginning, and you may save yourself from hours of aggravation later on.

Many novelists like the idea of sitting down with their laptops and letting ideas waft over them, then snatching them as they pass and molding them into a story. I know I did, but I learned the hard way that unless you start with a solid plan, you can easily end up writing yourself in circles.

In the before time, prior to this online writing thing I do now, I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing a novel. But there were problems. I had to rework major parts of the story, rebuild characters, and do a whole lot of editing to make things come together.

It was a big headache. These days, I much prefer to outline a novel before I start.

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Actually, I prefer to outline anything before I start, including an article like this one. Before I begin writing an article I always open a new Word document and take some time to build an outline of headers which will serve as the skeleton of the piece.

It may take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, and it is time well spent. But building an outline for a novel is a much more complex process. I picked out what made sense to me from each approach and blended it all together.

how to write a story outline for a novel

Creating Your Novel Outline The first thing you need to understand is that the outline itself is part of the novel writing process. Building a strong outline takes a lot of thought and time.

In fact, I have found it is a good idea to spend a few weeks just working on your novel outline and structure. Make your mistakes here, and hash them out. If your outline makes sense, your story will make sense.

how to write a story outline for a novel

The ideas here are as varied as each writer, but here are some ideas that have helped me. I think this is a good approach. You can choose to do so in three sections, five sections--whatever you wish. But the point is to decide how many sections your novel will have, and figure out the purpose of each section.

You may want to use the first section or act to introduce the main characters, present the problem the protagonist needs to solve and wrench up the tension. In the second section, you may wish to have a major change to shake things up, such as a big plot twist, revelation or death of a major character.

In the final section, your protagonist begins to turn the tide and starts working toward the final climax, of course battling issues along the way and winning in the end.

The choice is yours. Structure of Each Act or Section Each section or act will have a beginning, middle and end. You want to tell the story of how the protagonist got from point A in the beginning of the section, to point Z at the end.

This means figuring out where point A and Z are, for starters. For instance, in the first act of your novel your protagonist may go from being a mild-mannered gas station attendant, minding her own business, to a brainwashed CIA operative programmed to eliminate a foreign head of state.

How does that happen to her? Tell that story in your first act. In the second act, she may go from a brainwashed CIA operative, to finding out the truth behind her CIA involvement, and realizing it has been going on her whole life and there is no way to stop it.

Things just got whole lot worse for her. Tell that story in the second act.Write a novel in a month! Track your progress. Get pep talks and support. Meet fellow writers online and in person.

Writing into the Dark: How to Write a Novel without an Outline (WMG Writer's Guides) (Volume 9) [Dean Wesley Smith] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. With more than a hundred published novels and more than seventeen million copies of his books in print.

It’s probably the single most despised document you might be asked to prepare: the synopsis.. The synopsis is sometimes required because an agent or publisher wants to see, from beginning to end, what happens in your story. If structure is one of the most important factors in the success of a story, you’d think it would make sense to start your outline by figuring out the structure of your Three, as you can see, I’ve waited until deep into the outlining process—seven posts into our series, almost the very end—before bringing in .

If you want to learn how to write a short story, join us for Short Cuts in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course. Why we ask you to buy us a coffee: We want .

How to Write an Outline. In this Article: Article Summary Sample Outlines Planning Your Outline Structuring Your Outline Organizing Your Ideas Finalizing Your Outline Community Q&A An outline is a great way to organize ideas and information for a speech, an essay, a novel, or a study guide based on your class notes.

How to Write a Short Story (with Sample Stories) - wikiHow