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Outlines. Planning the Bare Bones. There isn’t a right or wrong way to write a novel. Some people start on page one and just start writing. Some people decide what the end is going to be before they write the beginning. Some authors write outlines.

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Outlines

Outlines

Planning the Bare Bones


  • There isn’t a right or wrong way to write a novel. Some people start on page one and just start writing. Some people decide what the end is going to be before they write the beginning. Some authors write outlines.

  • Let’s explore one way to do a novel outline.

  • Let’s consider Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It had 38 chapters and 870 pages. Look at part of the table of contents.


  • One: Dudley Demented people start on page one and just start writing. Some people decide what the end is going to be before they write the beginning. Some authors write outlines.

  • Two: A Peck of Owls

  • Three: The Advance Guard

    Now all J.K. Rowling needs to do is write a short summary paragraph after the title of each chapter. In chapter one, tell why Dudley is demented and make sure there are bits in your description that set the action of the book in play.

    To build the bones of your own outline, begin by writing a short description of what happens in the LAST chapter, and then move to the first chapter.

    Then, divide the rest of Act I (beginning) into as many chapter as it takes to properly introduce your protagonist and conflict – the who, what, when and where of the tale.

    Move on to Act II (middle) creating as many chapters as it takes to explain the crisis, complications and obstacles that present themselves on the protagonist’s way to the climax. Note the emotional challenges he faces.

    Once you’ve written the climax, its time to create as many chapters as you’ll need to lead to the final chapter, Act III (end).



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