Nanowrimo Part 4: Building a simple Outline
It is no secret that every writer is different. There is NOT one way to write a book or outline your book. But there is your way. You just have to find it!
I have a story for you. Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to write a book (me) :D I didn't know anything about writing books but I pulled out a notebook and pen and went for it. That book (of mine) was fully pants. Horrible and will never see the light of day. I am okay with that. I was in seventh grade when I wrote it and I really didn't know what I was doing! My next book I also didn't plan out at all. I also started it in seventh grade. That book took me until I was a senior in high school to finish. I had no plan, I had no idea what I was doing, but writing by my gut. That book later became, The Royal Spy. It is a fun book and I love it dearly. I thought for a long, long time that I would always write my books by the seat of my pants, but then I decided I wanted to actually learn how to write a book. I ran into one of the issues that can pop up as a discovery writer. I had to edit the heck out of my books or cut huge chunks. Not all discovery writers are this way. For some that is the only way they can write and that is AWESOME! But I wanted to cut down on rewrites so I decided to start some investigating into planning out my books. I spent a lot of time reading different books, attending writing classes on the subject of outline and even watching some youtube videos. I attempted things and tried many different things. I discovered a few methods I hated. I couldn’t make them work at all. I also found some I really liked, BUT they did not work well for me always. So then I would try something new.
I learned so much more that one writing method isn't a golden ticket. That what works for one person doesn't work for another. I found out that if I planned my story fully to every detail that I lost interest. I could not be considered a planner. So after lots of experimenting, writing stories wrong, trial and error. I learned that I am what lots of people call a planster. I have to plan my stories to some extent, or else I get stuck with a huge amount of rewrites, but not enough that I lose interest in writing that story. That is just how I roll.
I have read a lot of writing books see my instragram for the different ones if you're curious. I may have a way that works for me right now, but one thing I am learning is that my writing style is always evolving. So I will continue to read more books about creating story and I will continually adjust. Its a super fun thing about being a writer, we get to continually learn. You get to find new ways to create. That is what we are, creators.
Nanowrimo for most people is quick fast and hard. 1667 words every single day for 30 days without a break is hard. You don't have time for writers block. You don't have time to think for a day or two about what happens next, but you also don't want to write nonsense you'll have to cut later. An outline, a simple one at least can help a ton. It could be as simple as this:
Part one of the book looks like this:
Part two looks like this:
Part three looks like this:
The over all theme is this:
The fail moment looks like this:
The change moment looks like this:
The Climax looks like this:
Even something as simple as that will help out a ton! I personally think a little more than that is even more helpful. Recently I have tried doing a new method that I l really like a lot. It has three simple steps. It get's me enough info but also leaves a lot open for discovery. I call it: Cassie's Story Creation tool. You can have my worksheets for free here. It has three steps. Step 1: What you know. Step 2: Important answers. Step 2: Outline of Main events, chapter by chapter. Basically step 1 is all about brainstorming things you know already from your idea. Step 2 is writing down some solid answers that need decisions before you dive into your novel. Step 3 is assigning ever chapter a plot point that is required to move the story forward.
Check it out I hope it helps you with your story planning and if not. Guess what that is okay. You will find the way that works best for you! And I will certainly cheer you on!
Other Outline methods I really like:
1. Dan Wells 7 point Story Structure (find his video series on youtube)
2. The book, Take off your pants by: Libbie Hawker
3.The book, Romancing the beat by: Gwen Hayes
4. The Three Act structure. (Easiest thing is to google it)
5. The book: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
Thanks for reading and Happy writing!
Cassie M. Shiels
Cassie M. Shiels.