How to Outline Your Novel – part 2



hello everybody a couple of weeks ago I answered your 10 most popular questions about outlining and now I'm going to make an outline let's do the thing I'm going to walk you through my personal outlining process many of you probably know that I've done this in the past but the years have gone by and my process has evolved a few things to keep in mind my personal outlines are very detailed that's just how I like them if your process doesn't look like mine that's fine so long as it's working for you who cares if you like my method feel free to try it out and if you don't I don't give a let's get to it before you start outlining there are two things you'll want to nail down what is the overall plot of your story and who the are your characters typically you figure all of this out during what I refer to as the soft dumping phase thought something is the first part of the writing process it is more commonly referred to as brainstorming but I think thought dumping creates a more accurate visual your mind is basically pooping out ideas and some of those ideas are going to be shipped there really is no right or wrong way to thought dump you're literally just writing out every single idea that comes to mind regarding your story it could be lines of dialogue characters themes plot points settings descriptions whatever the whole point is to come up with as much content as possible for you to build off of now I usually thought jump in a word doc on my laptop but I also gave a thought dump note on my phone just think if they think of anything when I'm out about why do you think you have a sufficient amount of content to work with you move on to the outlining phase now my outlining phase consists of two parts if your thought dump was very organized and you might be able to skip the first part but if your thought don't look like an absolute clusterfuck you're going to want to follow along the first part of my outlining process is what I like to call the puzzle phase many who are familiar with my process call it the notecard phase that's fine too I go through my entire thought dump and I look for key events and plot points like the inciting incident the first kit I've seen character death the climax anything that drives the plot or subplots forward I find it and I write a brief description about it on note cards or posted I personally prefer post-it I also like to color code my plot point red for violence blue pink for romance so romantic purple for friendship that bitch let's make some broccoli all right we need some violence up in this bitch stick laughs let's introduce the love interest we can name him shaft danger zone that's a regular nice guy name once you have all your cards made you move to a wide-open space like the floor or a wall don't use a bed because someone will inevitably sit on it and suck it up Clifford before can't wait click got me in that handy-dandy poster board that you see over there and that's what I use for the puzzle phase the goal is to arrange all of their plot points in the order that you want them to appear in your story this is why I hope the puzzle phase it's like you got all these little puzzle pieces and you're trying to fit them together now that we've got a surface we're going to take all our post-it notes and get to organizing Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam every story should start with a tearful breakup because that's just good storytelling and you know why they broke up cuz our best friend kissed her man that bitch now the aliens have showed up this is one shaft danger zone officially makes his appearance staff we media he suffers the peepee of an alien why because that's the source of all their power the aliens bringing reinforcements with the walrus clan my story don't judge me stop danger zone and our main character have a cuddle fest because well when the walruses arrive what else can you do which is when a horny fairies show up because that seems to be the trend right now in fiction gotta have a warning fairy in your book clearly this leads to a circle jerk because Marnie fairies are warning and we finish the book off with a dick slap now while you're doing this you're gonna realize a few things one this is hard writing a book is hard get used to it who your big chunks of nothing in your story don't freak out when this happens this is normal that's we're doing this in the first place we want to find those empty moments and figure out a way to fill them so that's the next step in the puzzle phase after you've organized everything you're going to look for plot holes and try and fill up this alone could take a few days because you got a fit and think all right very good we got it once you fill the majority of your plot holes you should have a pretty solid timeline for your story and you should be able to start dividing your plot points into chapters chapter 1 BAM chapter 2 chapter 3 4 & 5 beautiful you can also choose to divide your plot points into days or weeks within your story with your outline do whatever the hell works for you and once you're done it might look a little something like this I'm trying to hold it far away cuz there's spoilers don't read it don't read it can you read it don't read it there spoilers yeah you read it so read it now that the puzzle phase is complete we move on to part two the actual outline you thought that was the outline didn't you you were wrong we're taking everything we just mapped out on our poster boards and transferring it to a Word document if you don't want to use word you can use Google Docs you can use Scrivener whatever floats your boat but I would recommend at least typing it I basically regurgitate the poster board outline into a Word document using bullet points and color coordination once all of the plot points are transferred over I go back to my thoughts dump I take all of the remaining details and I transfer them into their appropriate places in the outline remember the puzzle phase only took into consideration your main plot points there should be a lot more details in your thought dump that haven't yet been accounted for if you've got streams of dialogue in your thought dump go through your outline and figure out where those conversations need to take place if you've got violent maneuvers planned go through your outline and swap them in the appropriate fight scene do this until everything in your thought dump has found a special little home except for the crappy design on to you because it's crap once you've done this your outline should look pretty beefy you might be thinking hey I'm done but you're wrong again go through your outline and locate anything that might be a problem for you later in the writing vague explanations time gaps plot holes inconsistencies figure out how to add depth to the shallow places the goal is to try and make the actual writing process as seamless as possible if you've got a scene here or there that isn't completely flushed out yet it's not a big deal not every moment or every scene needs to be spelled out in full but most of it should be pretty clear once you filled your outline with enough writerly goodness go through it one more time or ten more times and look for moments that can get the act is one of your characters only show up in two scenes the Leedom about a moment that is absolutely nothing for your plot get it out of here cutting the fat from your outline saves you the trouble of making massive cuts to your novel once you finish with this step you're done finally you've got an outline provided you're comfortable with it and you're happy with the content you can start writing your book now don't think that because you've started your book you can't contribute to your outline writer brains are all over the place we tend to come up with ideas pretty much all the time when this happens pull out your outline and shove the idea into the appropriate place everything is modifiable if your outline if your rules now there is no standard links for an outline but as I mentioned before mine tend to be pretty detailed so from my outline we're looking at 30 pages at a minimum but that's just me the 10 page outline works for you how about it so there you have it and that is my outlining method from start to finish you can use it if you think it'll work for you you can modify it to suit your needs or you can ignore everything I've just said and do something completely different I really don't care there are a lots of different outlining methods out there so feel free to experiment with access don't forget to subscribe to my channel I post new videos on Wednesdays you feel Awakening is still available in eBook and paperback on Amazon right now you can also order a signed copy all the links are listed below don't forget to check out my patreon page also listed below and if you have any questions are so something you'd like me to talk about in my next video be sure to tweet me at Jenna Marcy bye

37 thoughts on “How to Outline Your Novel – part 2

  1. Anyone get whole ideas? I went on a walk once and got the entire story-length idea for a 30 chapter story. It almost never happens, but when it does happen, it's great.

  2. I tend to write better when I have physical paper and stuff so

    Guess who's buying some post it notes

  3. i do like main plot points, keep the rest in my head, and do a loooooot of editing. _uwu_/

  4. I don't Know if i Should be amused or yell #metoo :p i'll go with amused.

  5. I can't believe that someone with your mouth is able to form enough sentences to tell a cohisive story?

  6. i don't have an outline for my books i just have a memo on my phone where i have ideas and some things like character names and plans for scenes. then you move on to what im writing and the problem is im re writing everything that was put on my phone like a rough draft i never dont have ideas

  7. Well, Shaft Dangerzone was a popular 80's porn star… Okay, maybe not.

  8. Jenna's humor is the right amount of cheesy cute and informative. Never stop!

  9. Oh my god! I finally found an outline style that works for me!!! Yes! Victory!

  10. I think I’m learning so much from your videos. Being a beginner, I feel so terrified of writing a book. What if it’s not good enough? What if people don’t like it? U help me keep my anxiety at bay. 😊

  11. Hey, Jenna! Do you have any outline templates you would recommend?

  12. Straightforward video! Good starting points to work out a method all your own. Loved it! Do you outline your videos you record too or just riff? You have a good narrative flow to these videos. Can't wait to see newer ones!

  13. I love you're videos but could you try to not curse in them? I watched this one with my younger sisters and I'd like to watch more with them. Thanks.

  14. 30 pages for an outline???? that could be like 100 or 30,000 words depending on your format, font, and how detailed you get… i need more information…

  15. Is it weird that I like writing my story in notebooks after the outline? I just can't seem to type a book, I can never think! It's a much longer process though.

  16. horny fairies are amazing πŸ™‚ they fix so many things yet have all the fun. lol

  17. LOL!!! Smart, Clever & Funny,. . I Love it! = You Jenna. Keep going for it! = Writing & YouTube Videos,. .

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