How to outline for writing a book

Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Writers either love outlines, or they hate them.

How to outline for writing a book

Mentally writing in the shower is one of the perks of outlining, because it will get your thoughts percolating. Be sure to keep paper and pens scattered about so you can capture your brilliance the minute it bubbles up, rather than letting all those ideas fade away.

This means a finished book in less time! And I have some good news: Keep reading for tips on how to outline different ways.

Mindmap by Sonia Weyers Are you writing a fiction or non-fiction book? Thankfully, there are plenty of relevant tips you can apply in the section about outlining a non-fiction book. Generally, works of non-fiction require research and citation of sources although many novels require their own research!

These are some of the beneficial methods we recommend for you. Write your topic in the center of a piece of paper, then use lines and words to draw as many connections as you can.

Then you can pluck those ideas out of your mindmap and put them into a cohesive book outline. We also recommend doing a mindmap for each chapter you select from your original mindmap. It will help you structure your entire book chapter by chapter.

Fun, and so easy—we told you this would be mostly painless! Regardless of what your mind map looks like in the end, it is an essential element to your book writing process.

This mind map will be the jumping off point for you to begin your outline. In this brief video, Chandler explains how to turn your mindmap into an outline: Start with the title.

6 Writing Outline Templates and 3 Reasons to Use Them — Self Publishing Team Mentally writing in the shower is one of the perks of outlining, because it will get your thoughts percolating.
Summarize the Scenes Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Get more of it in Novel Writing, your guide to writing a publishable novel.
Character Worksheets I like the tools offered here, and appreciate the feedback, but since its been 2 years since this was offered on the internet, maybe followup of some of the success stories.
Next in the Speech Preparation Series The secret is to incorporate the 8 Basic Plot Elements. Starting with your story idea, you only need to make eight choices to ensure the plot of your future novel hangs together in a meaningful way.

You can always change the title later—in fact, you probably will—but starting with some kind of title gives you a better idea of where you want your book to go.

Plus, it jump-starts the creative process.

Organize the Beat Sheet

To get started, first create a complete chapter list. Create a working title for each chapter, and list them in a logical order.

Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictureswrote about how sketching your ideas can simplify complex thoughts.

To create this type of book outline, hand-draw your book concept in sequential order. This may be as simple or as elaborate as you desire.

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Feel free to use a Bic pen and a spiral notebook, or take it to the next level with a color medium on canvas-sized paper.

Others find satisfaction in sketching ideas with dry erase markers on a whiteboard or the old-fashioned feel of chalk on a blackboard. Their book outline program allows you to upload your research, organize it by moving it around, and filing it into folders.

The program does have a fairly extensive learning curve, which can be a major downside—especially if you tend to procrastinate and really want to get your book published quickly.

However, some writers say it revolutionized their organizational process for longer works. How to Outline a Novel in 6 Ways While you can incorporate the book outlining tips we shared in the non-fiction section above, creating an outline for your novel will be inherently different from creating a non-fiction outline.

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Your novel outline will require character development, the evolution of plot points, and resolution of conflict. While the methods may be different, the goal is the same—organization and pre-planning so that you can write a great, cohesive book much faster.

Create a table and organize and summarize your key points and plot.

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All you need is a blank wall and a box of Post-It notes. Carry a pad of Post-Its with you wherever you go, and doodle your book on the fly.Here you'll find easy novel outline techniques to plan your book step by step, along with worksheets for planning characters and scenes.

This is just one of many pages on this website with creative writing worksheets and advice. Writing a book is beyond hard. Those of us in the thick of the book writing process know that.

Which means if there’s something that can make the entire process easier, we’d likely hop on it as fast as possible. Luckily, that very method exists and it goes by the intimidating name of outlining. How to Outline a Novel in 6 Ways.

how to outline for writing a book

While you can incorporate the book outlining tips we shared in the non-fiction section above, creating an outline for your novel will be inherently different from creating a non-fiction outline.

In the How to Outline Your Novel series (which is a supplement for my internationally-published book Outlining Your Novel, its companion the Outlining Your Novel Workbook, and the Outlining Your Novel Workbook software), you will learn.

How to choose the right type of outline for you; How to brainstorm plot ideas; How to discover your characters; How to organize your scenes. The previous article in the Speech Preparation Series described how to select your speech topic and your core message.. This article describes how to support your core message with a speech outline, and provides numerous timberdesignmag.com is the second step in the six-step speech preparation process..

Writing an outline is, unfortunately, a step that many skip. I have a confession to make. When I was in school and a teacher would assign us to write an outline for a story, I’d finish the story first, then go back and write the outline so I’d have something to turn in.

Even as a teenager I thought outlining was counterintuitive to the writing process.

How to Outline a Novel (Even If Outlining Makes You Sick)