Outlining: How I'm Doing It

Well, my fantastic followers, I took some time the other day to outline my next book. This is how I have to work... logically. I can't expand upon a story line I'm unfamiliar with.

JK Rowling's Plot Outline for Order of the Phoenix
This time around, I began with THIS SYSTEM, by Dan Wells (@TheDanWells) which begins much like Rowling's here ---->

Basically, I went through each main character and wrote out their story arc. Where I wanted them to be (emotionally, personality-wise, physically, etc.) at the beginning and end. Then I add the things (events, choices, interactions) that caused those major changes to take place. 

Once I knew all that, I weaved them all together in an excel doc, moving things around to make it flow. THEN I began writing it out in more detail, chapter by chapter, or scene by scene. Again, moving events around so everything made sense. 

So, I wrote out my entire story in five pages (about 3,000 words)! Then I sent it to a couple of CP's for their thoughts. Now I'm just waiting to hear back from them. But my fingers are itching to start writing! I keep having random scenes start playing out in my mind, and I'm afraid I'll forget them if I don't type them out completely.

My biggest problem now is that I don't have a setting... or even a working title... Those need to be fixed, but we'll talk about those processes later...

Do you outline? If not, seriously, HOW do you do it? I don't think I'd be able to... even if I tried...

I'd love to hear your thoughts!


1 comment

  1. Aaaah, is that really J.K. Rowling's outline? Fascinating!!! For me, I also use Dan Wells' method, as well as the beat sheet from Save the Cat, and Janice Hardy also has a great method. But I like your idea of mapping out each character's individual story arch!!! :)


Back to Top