Writing a Story: Basic Outlining
Last post we talked about creating a plot summary. Personally, I’m rather fond of outlines. My preference to outlines comes from my college days. I realized back then that creating an outline allowed me to skip around in a paper. Later, I applied the same techniques to my stories. A great outline means there’s no need to write a story chronically.
A while back, I found a program called Character Writer, which includes a section for plotting a story. Since then, I’ve used its formula as a guideline for developing my stories. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ll point you in that direction.
What makes Character Writer really useful in terms of an outline, is it allows a writer to use somewhat of a snowflake effect. It begins by prompting the writer to come up with 8 plot points which are later divided into 3 acts, similar to what I suggested in the last post. What I like is it doesn’t leave you on your own when developing those plot points. It provides hints, such as your character is living his/her life and is unhappy/happy with the situation and is seeking/not seeking an adventure. Simple enough, but a little something to get you thinking and a place to write specifics about your characters and story.
Once the plot points are completed, the outline is generated… but it goes further. Character Writer makes a suggestion of how many scenes should be for each plot development. This allows a writer to be as detailed or generic as necessary.
So, today I’ll leave you with an online tool from the same characters of Character Writer. For the most part, it’s just an online version of the downloadable program. It’ll give you a quick feel for how it works and hopefully get you started on your outline for NaNoWriMo.