Truth be told, I still haven’t figured out how I like to outline my novel, as it is a process unique to every writer. However, I hope to give you some insights and tips on how you can outline your novel.
To start off, I usually use a notebook to keep track of all the random ideas that come to me while I brainstorm for what could happen in my story. I’m not sure I would consider this a part of my outline but you certainly could if you wanted to!
Well, whether you are a plotter or a pantser, it is probably best if you at least know the basic plot of your story. And depending on preference, you can get more and more in-depth on how much of the plot you include in your outline.
Lastly, it is a good idea to get to know your characters a bit more, especially the character that will be narrating your story. This will let you slide more easily into their voice: their thoughts, choices, and opinions.
I do realize that this is a very short post and I want to leave you with some other references on how other people outline their stories:
- This post by The Write Practice shows how you can use spreadsheets to outline your novel
- Kristen Kieffer at Well-Storied has multiple posts on outlining but I found this one the most helpful
- This resource from Eva Deverell is a good example of a different way to outline your story
- K.M. Weiland from Helping Authors Become Writers has a post series as well as a book on this topic. Her outlines are very in depth if that is what you are looking for
I hope that this post has given you some ideas as to how you should outline your stories. Keep in mind that it might take a while to find what works for you. Comment below if you found this post helpful.