Outline Zone

Start with an idea:






-What if?

STRESS=CREATIVITY KILLER. How to avoid stress?







-Calming music


Write it Down!

Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, etc.

Just write everything that comes to your mind.

Can you envision a certain scene? Write it.

Write everything pertaining to your idea.

Don’t get caught up in the little details.

Just focus on the big picture.

Your story will take shape as you write it out.

After you get those first thoughts on paper, it’s time to work on character details. You need to know everything you can about your character. As you do this, the pieces of the plot will also fall into place.

Here is a list of character traits to consider including:

1. What is your character’s full name?
2. How old is your character?
3. Physically describe your character.
4. Where is your character from?
5. Describe/explain your character’s background.
6. What is this character’s personal objective or dream?
7. If this character’s worst enemy were to state what’s wrong with him or her, what would it be?
8. Why should a reader like this character or want them to succeed?
9. What are his or her weaknesses? List three.
10. What are his or her strengths? List three.

11. If this character can perform magic, describe his or her skills.
12. Describe this character’s childhood and parents.
13. How is this character like you?
14. How is this character not like you?
15. What mood is typical for this character?
16. Is this character a loner?
17. Can this character trust and/or work with others?
18. Does this character ever confide in anyone?
19. Who is this confidant?
20. What does this character need to learn?

Story beginning: The Do’s:

  1. Introduce an immediate form of the antagonist.
  2. Show the scene action and conflict.
  3. Plant hints for later development.
  4. Use numerous small hooks to grab reader curiosity and sustain reader involvement.
  5. Introduce the first complication.

The Outline Method:

After you’ve gotten out all your thoughts about your story’s premise and your characters, now stitch together an outline containing:
Inciting Incident
Plot Point One
Plot Point Two


Types of Hook:

-Raising a question.

-Introducing a vivid character.

-Using unpredictability.

-Changing the existing circumstances.

-Creating immediate danger.

-Utilizing a sinister atmosphere.

-Leaping into action.


Generally speaking, a novel should be divided into thirds. The beginning and ending will be the shortest sections, with the middle section taking up the majority of the book.

It takes patience to piece together the main plot points of your outline. Don’t get frustrated! Be sure to take breaks, avoid stress, and fuel with mind with creative outlets, such as reading, crafting, or going for walks.

Once you’ve got your outline in decent shape, (I aim for an 11-page outline) now it’s time to turn off that computer!


Think your outline is in decent shape? Here’s a test to make sure:
Turn off your computer and don’t look at it again. Don’t cheat!
Take your outline to pen and paper.
Write down everything you remember from your outline. There’s no need to memorize it word for word. Just try to remember all your major plot points.
If you’ve forgotten something, this is a great chance to reassess your outline for weakness. If your story isn’t flowing, or if you get stuck and can’t remember where to go next, then it’s time to redo your outline.
Once you get your entire outline written on pen and paper, now you’re ready to write “Practice Chapter One.”


Writing the first chapter of a new novel can be intimidating, so I always write a “practice” chapter first.
This takes off the pressure of writing a perfect first chapter.
I write an opening scene, and once I’m happy with where the book is starting, then I’m ready to start a new novel.
I’ve had some books get through the entire outlining process and never make it through my first chapter test, so the book remains unwritten.
If this happens, I put the book aside and start another, and I usually go back to the book years later. With any luck, I’m able to write a solid first chapter and complete the novel.