Your 3-Step Plan for Creating A Novel Outline

Your 3-Step Plan for Outlining a Novel

Your 3-Step Plan for Creating A Novel OutlineToday, I’m guest posting over on Writers Helping Writers, with the post “Your 3-Step Plan for Outlining a Novel.” Here’s an excerpt:

There’s only one reason writers ever talk about outlining. It’s a tool that’s supposed to make our jobs easier. But it isn’t always clear how to accomplish that. Do you just start writing a list of events that might happen in this story? Do you create an actual Roman-numeral outline like you were taught in high school? But… isn’t that awfully arbitrary? And, as such, how exactly is it supposed to give you a great story right out of the gates?

Good questions, all. Perhaps it’s time we stop thinking about outlining as outlining and, instead, call it structured brainstorming. Outlining is a period of discovery, in which you get to explore the far boundaries of your story from a safe observatory post before diving headlong into the hurly-burly of the first draft.

Over the past decade, I have taught thousands of writers how to outline, through my website and books (and now my brand-new Outlining Your Novel Workbook software!). The system I’ve created starts with the big picture and slowly narrows its focus until you know enough about your story to do it justice in the first draft. The following three basic steps will help you create an easier writing process and brainstorm a better book.

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

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