How I Outline

I have never been a person who outlines her writing projects, I have also never been a person who finished her writing projects. Mainly because I would burn out quickly, and when I no longer had the motivation to make up story as i went i just gave up. The longest I’ve ever gotten on any writing project has been 15.000 words, and I would like to change this pattern, i would like to actually finish something.

So to do so, I’ve decided that i need to start outlining my projects before I get to far into the writing process, this is to make sure I ont burn out 10.000 words in, and that I actually have the necessary plot points to keep writing.

With my current WIP i started with the characters, not anything too intense, but just enough about them that i know their voice. The first thing i did was names, you can have a lot of fun with names and name meanings, or you can just choose names you like. Now what i did afterwards was to assign each of my main characters a tragedian archetype, no this is definitely not necessary, i just find that assigning archetypes, or stock characters, can help you a lot with keeping the characters on the same track, and not have them behaving to ooc.

In order to get a feel for the characters and their dynamics, the next thing i did, was to write a few scenes, some with all the characters, and some with only some. I like doing this before outlining, not just to get a feel for the characters, but also to have a start the story, to start the outlining process from.

Now i had come to the actual outlining, but the question is just how to do it. So when i saw the video HOW TO OUTLINE | 3 act 9 block 27 chapter example posted by the writer and booktuber Katytastic a few days ago, i decided to try it out, and it has made the outlining process much easier.

Now this outlining method divides your story into three big acts, all of which have a smaller story arc in them. All the acts are then divided into three blocks, all of which also have smaller story arcs. The 9 blocks are then divided into 3 chapters each, wich all serve a purpose. These chapters, don’t have to be the chapters you end up with having in the final draft, but they are a great way to separate the different factors in a story.

The chapters are divided as so:

  • Act One:
    • Block One:
      • Intro
      • Inciting Incident
      • Immediate Reaction
    • Block Two:
      • Reaction
      • Action
      • Consequence
    • Block Three:
      • Pressure
      • Pinch
      • Push
  • Act Two:
    • Block Four:
      • New World
      • Fun & Games
      • Old Contrast
    • Block Five:
      • Build Up
      • Midpoint
      • Reversal
    • Block Six:
      • Reaction
      • Action
      • Dedication
  • Act Three:
    • Block Seven:
      • Trials
      • Pinch
      • Darkest Point
    • Block Eight:
      • Power Within
      • Action
      • Converge
    • Block Nine:
      • Battle
      • Climax
      • Resolution

To read a more in-depth description of each chapter check out this blog post.

So personally I just like using this model to outline with, because it really does flesh out all the different turning points and arc in a story. This is just my personal way to do this and even if it doesn’t help you, i have that you can use some of the things in here to help you outline.

One thought on “How I Outline

  1. Pingback: Nanowrimo 2018 – blackhholesbooks

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