Category Archives: Outline

Outlines, Writing, and Rewriting

A few weeks ago I wrote about the simple outline and I received varied reactions. Some said that their plot lines were too complicated to follow a simple outline, and I’d like to respond.

Focus on these points:

  • Include only the main characters plot line
  • Focus on relevancy and increasing of tension
  • Include enough details to make plot holes apparent

You can always add subplots afterwards if you want an exact blueprint. Since flora-312815_1280bsubplots are designed to support the main plot, the moments they intersect will also be included. Other details can be classified as need to know.

What I did when I needed to add a clue/red herring was put it in as a highlight or italic comment. Sure they had to be tracked, but the story really focuses on the characters, their motivation and actions.

I rewrote my outline several times to fix what became obvious problems. Things like plot holes, unnecessary scenes, and lack of tension became a tweak instead of pages of rewrites. I also found the twists and surprises were easier to incorporate.

It made finishing my latest first draft easier. Sure, I still need to do several rewrites, but that’s part of my process. I tend to go back and focus on one specific part each round like revising description, clarifying character motivation, and deepening relationships.cat-152209_1280

I know we all use the tools we like best and this one is perfect for me. I’ so excited because my capturing the essence of  my story makes writing a synopsis and pitching it that much easier.

Anything in your toolbox I should know about?

How To Write a Simple Outline That Sells

I’m taking a course and during one of the orations the basic outline was addressed. I won’t share specific details because I don’t want to be called a thief—but I will share the impact it had on me.

the best outline is shared as if you’re telling a story around a campfire.

Every outline I’ve ever done considered too many points:

  • frog-47683The goal of the antagonist
  • The goal of the protagonist
  • When to slip in clues, and red herring and what device to use for each
  • When should the victim die and how
  • A detailed relationship chart between characters, their motives, opportunities, and ability to kill the victim

I have to push my so called framework away from the forefront, and focus on what I love best…

telling my story.

The funny thing is we all know how to do that. So the next time you try to explain what you are writing about, record it. It could be the outline you’ve been looking for.

What method works best for you? I’d love to know.