How to begin writing a story outline

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.

How to begin writing a story outline

Three important lessons on how to begin writing a novel from someone who has never done this before, and is mostly faking his way through it, but with the help of some really smart people: Get a strong story idea My friend and student, Shaunta Grimes, made me do this.

Shaunta has published two young adult novels with Penguin and teaches a popular writing course called A Novel Idea. She encourages her students to start with a strong idea for their novel before they even begin writing. As boring as this sounded, I decided to commit to it and was surprised at how simple and easy the exercise was — and how it served to guide the writing of the book.

Who is going to be in this story? Where and when is this story going to take place? What is going to happen to these characters? Then you put them together in five key plot points that will drive the story. What is a story? A story, in its most basic essence, is a cast of characters in a certain setting who experience an unexpected situation.

Here are some familiar examples: She meets a group of teenagers who end up being vampires. An orphan gets an invitation to a special school and finds out he is a famous wizard with a powerful nemesis. Before you write, you first need an idea of what your story is going to be about. Good story ideas typically involve putting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and seeing how they rise to the occasion.

Jeff Goins Tweet This 2. I think this makes sense to do after you decide your story idea. There may be some exceptions to this, but for me, it worked best in this order.

how to begin writing a story outline

Regardless, after you have a story idea and select your genre, you need to study it. In his bookShawn is bullish on the importance of genre. Before you get too far into writing anything, you need to get clear on what kind of story this is.

These are the rules of the genre. Here are some examples: Action stories have a speech delivered by the villain usually when the hero is at his mercy. Coming-of-age stories often begin with the death of a loved one or some tragedy that leaves the hero feeling alone.

Fantasies tend to have a guide who dies in the middle of the story and leaves the hero on his own. How do you find these conventions and obligatory scenes in your genre? You consume a lot of stories.

how to begin writing a story outline

So what did I do? In the past week, I skimmed every book I could think of and watched a half dozen movies I was already familiar with. As I read and watched these stories, I took notes, writing down each scene and noticing if something positive or negative was happening to the character.

This is something Shawn Coyne teaches — a scene either adds positive energy or negative energy as it contributes to the overall narrative. You can get deep into genre and spend a lot of time thinking about sub-genre, but be careful not to get lost in the weeds. What do you want them thinking when they go into reading your story?

Chandler Bolt

Be mindful of that as you write and try not to do anything that would violate their trust. Writing fiction is not just about making up whatever story you want. There are rules and conventions to every genre, and before you get too far into telling your story, decide what the genre is, and therefore, what rules and conventions you are going to follow.

Jeff Goins Tweet This 3.

How to outline a novel: 7 methods

Plot out the story Depending on whom you ask, every story has anywhere from three to twelve, or even one hundred plot points.Want to Learn More About the Snowflake Method? Check out my best-selling book, How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake book is a different kind of teaching tool.

It uses a story to SHOW you how to write a novel, rather than to TELL you how to write a If you are writing a creative nonfiction essay or a fiction story, writing an outline can be a good way to organize your ideas before beginning.

An outline for a story, however, is different from an outline for a This article address some of the reasons behind why we avoid writing our life story, and seeks writing advice from professional biographer Andrew Crofts.

How To Write My Life Story. Sticky Post By They have a beginning, middle, and end, as well as chapters, characters, and settings.

W hen you begin to break things down to the most basic  · Unless you’re dead-set on writing a mystery or a horror novel, I think you need to begin with the story itself, then figure out what genre is most suitable for it.

There may be some exceptions to this, but for me, it worked best in this 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  · Some writers choose to create just a general outline of the plot for their story, others may draw up an outline for each scene they plan to have within the books, and there are even some authors who choose to create detailed outlines and other documents for each character, location, and other aspects within their story before writing a single

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