How to write a plot outline novel

Return to Content Plot outline creation: These seven ways to write a story outline appeal to different writing strengths.

How to write a plot outline novel

How to Write a Plot Outli How to Write a Plot Outline Producing a consistent and effective plot There are many names for a plot outline; one of our favorites is the plot skeleton.

Some people also call it "the universal plot," while others simply call it "basic structure.


Many people, when they learn what a plot outline is, fail to see the point of it. Why, they ask, would they want to use a format that is found in every other story known to humankind—where is the creativity in that?

The answer is simple: The plot outline at its simplest The following is an example of a plot skeleton: This character finds himself in some kind of trouble and does his best to get out of it.

However, everything Character X does only seems to make the trouble worse. Just when it seems Character X has come to the very lowest point imaginable, he manages to work out the issues through some kind of insight or ingenuity, and all is right in the world.

Better Novel Project | Deconstructing Bestselling Novels, One Doodle at a Time.

Every story needs this plot resolution in order for your readers to feel like their time was well spent on your novel. It is a human instinct to identify with a sympathetic character. Remember, a plot skeleton is only bones… Many writers forget that a skeleton is just that—bare bones.

Humans all have skeletons that look pretty much alike, but we all look vastly different when flesh, hair, and snazzy clothes cover them up.

Your character might be a sweet but socially challenged man, who, in the search for his sweetheart, bungles through all kinds of schemes to meet women before discovering that his next-door neighbor was the woman of his dreams all along. Your character might be a teenage girl, desperately trying to find herself, who dyes her hair electric blue, gets a belly ring, or takes up cheerleading to boost her popularity only to find that all she needed was one true friend.

how to write a plot outline novel

All of these stories follow the plot outline archetype previously described, yet each is dramatically different, and each has a good plot. The possibilities are endless. You are not limited to any specific genre—the plot outline is truly universal.

Step 1: Nail-down a winning story idea.

Your hopeless young man could live in China, India, or Milwaukee, and the story could be set in the present, the s, or years into the future. Ultimately, it is up to the author to wrap his or her plot skeleton in muscle, sinew, and skin, placing within it the heart that will make a unique and beautiful literary creation.

And remember, if you need a manuscript critiquelet our editors take a look! Characters have to be constructed, bit by bit, until the whole, complex individual finally comes into view.To sell your novel, you may need to know how to write a synopsis, even if you are a pantser-type novelist who can write a whole novel without making an outline first.

Easy novel outline techniques to plan your book step by step. How to write a novel from start to finish. Turn ideas for novels into finished books.

Free worksheets for planning characters and scenes. I've been changing how I write. These days I use (virtual) index cards to create a detailed outline of my novel before I put pen to paper to create a first draft. Writing into the Dark: How to Write a Novel without an Outline (WMG Writer's Guides) (Volume 9) [Dean Wesley Smith] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

With more than a hundred published novels and more than seventeen million copies of his books in print. Kyla examines the useful novel outlining process for writers. Technique: Write a List. If your story is relatively simple and short, the list-form is often the best way to start your outline.

2 thoughts on “ How to Use an Outline to Write a First Draft ” Tim December 18, at pm. The comment about writer’s block is probably the truest I’ve read in a long time.

Create A Plot Outline In 8 Easy Steps