The Easy Outline

The Easy Outline

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well and having an excellent day! Today I’m going to jump right in and talk about one of my favourite subjects: Outlining.

As many of you will know, I am a huge proponent of the outline, and I’m always on the lookout for new ways plot and to generate ideas. Recently, I came across a method that incorporates both of these elements so I thought I’d share it with you all.

I’m not sure who came up with this particular method, or what it’s actually called so for simplicity’s sake, I’m going to just call it ‘The Easy Outline’. It’s quick, and it’s straightforward, which is why I love it so much.

The Easy Outline

It’s a good idea to have a basic idea of what your story is going to be about before you begin.

  • First, pick out five or six significant events that you know you definitely want to happen in your story and write them on a piece of paper or in a word document.
  • Next, on a separate document or page, write down at least two complications for each event (you might decide you need more depending on the complexity or length of your story). Think about What prevents your characters from getting what they want or gets in the way of their primary goal.
  • Finally, on another new page or document, combine the first two steps.

You should end up with something that looks somewhat like this:

1 – something happens
1 – a – Complication –
1 – b – Complication –

2 – something happens
2 – a – Complication –
2 – b – Complication –

3 – something happens
3 – a – Complication –
3 – b – Complication –

4 – something happens
4 – a – Complication –
4 – b – Complication –

5 – something happens
5 – a – Complication –
5 – b – Complication –

6 – something happens
6 – a – Complication –
6 – b – Complication –

This gives you a pretty clear picture of your overall story, and I find that as I’m thinking of the complications for each event, ideas about the story or about character arcs or setting begin to flow more freely in my head. For this reason, I think it’s wise to keep a piece of paper or a notebook handy to write down anything you may want to use later that won’t fit into your outline.

If anyone has a way of outlining that makes life just that little bit easier for them, then I’d love to hear about it!

As always, thanks for reading! I appreciate that time is valuable, so thanks for spending yours with me!

Until next time,

George

© 2020 GLT



Categories: Outlines

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