WRITING: Outlining Your Story…

10 May

Does anyone else have a problem with this? Because I always feel like I’m the only one who grapples with writing scene after scene in chronological order in a list-like format. It just never happens, and when it does I lose all motivation to write the story (or novel) in the first place.

So I googled ‘Outlining Your Novel’ and came across links that I used a lot when I used to outline like crazy; and I think some of them could be useful for a few of you. Here they are:

The Ominous Snowflake method: The Snowflake Method

This method… (Probably the most well-known) takes an astronomical amount of time (for me), which can be good, get to know your characters… But I’m impatient, very impatient. And by step 3 I’m on to the next outline website…

The Writer’s Digest Outline: Writing.com

I really like this way of outlining but I never feel like I have enough information to use when I’m finished, but for some people this has worked miracles!

Notecard Plotting: Notecard Plotting Under Pressure

This one is probably one of my favorites and I love Holly Lisle so I guess I’m a bit biased. She has great articles on writing and plotting and character development; just google her name and all of her websites will pop up!

Outline Your Novel In 30 Minutes: 30 Minute Outline

This is another favorite, not only does it only take 30 minutes (it actually took me a little over an hour) it helps me to flesh out my characters motivations and that helps me to brainstorm more scenes.

Do you guys have any recommendations on how to outline? Or do you not outline at all?

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3 Responses to “WRITING: Outlining Your Story…”

  1. Kourtney Heintz May 10, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    I write a 5-10 page synopsis. It lets me know where the story is going and allows me the freedom to change things as I go. So I have direction, but I still get to be creative. Each day when I’m drafting, I leave myself a comment on what the next scene is going to be and then I know where to begin each day. But I think the most important thing is finding the method that works for you and your book.

    • Loren Chase May 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

      I love that you write a comment about what the next scene it going to be. I sometimes try and write sporadically without an outline and I end up abandoning the story because I have no idea where it’s going. But I like the synopsis idea, it’s not too rigid and confining that things can’t be changed later. That’s a great idea! I’m going to have to try it. 😉

  2. Kourtney Heintz May 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    If I don’t write the comment, each morning I freeze up–not writer block but writer panic attack. Because there’s all this pressure to come up with the next scene and it must be brilliant. Jotting down a note the night before takes the pressure way lower. 🙂 So far I’m digging the synopsis idea, plus when it comes time to query I already have a synopsis drafted.

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