Create That Outline!

Create That Outline!

I write my novels under the pseudonym of Lenoir, and therefore, many people know me by the name. I have to start by thanking all my fans because they have been a great inspiration to me. Before I get emotional about my fans, let me go straight to the reason for writing this article – the need for creating an outline for all of my stories. I have realized just how much creating outlines has made me one of the most successful writers of the 21st century.

Years ago, I would start a story and get stuck in the middle of the plot. Sometimes, I mixed ideas and could confuse the whole story. In fact, I was almost giving up. Fortunately, I attended a two-days training on how to write a novel. I realized that I needed to create an outline for every story before going into the actual writing. Since then, I have never been stuck again.

Why I create outlines

Without much ado, I would go straight into discussing how an outline is important to me.

Provides me with a road map

Provides me with a structure

An outline offers me helpful structure and guidance. This does not mean that I can’t stay creative and explore more ideas while I am writing.

As I said before, an outline is simply a map that shows me the route to my destination. Any destination always has many routes, and therefore, this roadmap is not the only route I stick to throughout the writing process. In other words, I allow myself to bring in fresh ideas and thoughts as they come.

Saves me time

When I have drafted a sketch of the plot and characters, it becomes very easy to figure them out. In short figuring out plot and characters from the outline require less time as compared to doing the same from a draft.

My best tips to creating an outline

Crafting my premise

I usually begin my outline by identifying the protagonist, his/her objectives and what exactly the hero wants to achieve. I also identify the situation; the personal conditions of the hero, and how that condition will change for either better or for worse. Here is where I mention who is going to change the situation. Furthermore, I identify the opponent, the disaster, and what effect it will have on the hero.

Sketching scene ideas

I must sketch ideas for my story after identifying a tight premise. I make a full list of all the things I already know about my story. It’s good to list all the possible scenes here, and how they are going to play out in my story.

Eliminate obvious ideas

In my list of ideas and scenes, I usually ask myself if my audience will be expecting them. If the answer is yes, then I scrap them off from the list. I then come up with other alternative ideas that my audience won’t expect.


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