This month of daily writing advice will include tidbits, tips, and sometimes tricks. This isn’t a replacement for editing or book coaching, it’s meant as a jumping off point for exploration and thought! I hope it helps! ~Amy
TIPS FOR YOUR FICTION OUTLINE
I don’t know about you, but when I learned to outline, the lesson included Roman numerals, capital and lowercase letters, and lots of indenting. It took me a long time to think of a fiction outline as something else. For me, it’s a list of what happens in the story and also, why. At first it’s pretty vague and then as I get going it can become more detailed. Right now I have an outline for my next novel that’s detailed at the beginning and pretty skimpy at the end. The document will evolve as my story does, as my thoughts do.
Two important things to remember when you’re outlining you WIP:
- It’s a guide, not a contract. Change up your story? Go in and revise your outline so it continues to be helpful. The best outline may give you security so that your imagination has room to play. If you want the outline to lock you in, still pay attention to your instincts as you write.
- Think about a cause-effect relationship between your outline points. This eliminates the dreaded “and then and then and then” that befalls many outlines. The first thing on your outline MUST lead to the second. You should see and feel this trajectory. (No this doesn’t cover multiple POV novels necessarily, but this is a just a blog post, you can extrapolate).
How do you feel about outlines? I’m using one for my fifth book because it has four POV and otherwise I think I’d go right off a literary cliff!
Would love some suggestions for the last few day of #30Days. My well is dry (and I’m doing all this on deadline).
SEE YOU TOMORROW!