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The Outline Method I’m Using

Today I will be discussing the outline method I am using.  Thanks to K.M. Weiland’s book pictured above and many of her other books, I am looking forward to sitting down and outlining my novel.  I am sure it will be the secret to my success!

Click here for the K.M. Weiland author page.

I am a “plotter.”  I will be writing down the main plot points, and the scenes that are most important, so that I will know how to adequately foreshadow and provide “red shoes.”  A “red shoe” is the writing term I was taught that means:  something in a scene that is mentioned but doesn’t seem to have a correlation with anything else, but later on that red shoe will be explained and its importance noted.

Using an outline will help me plan the character arcs so each character will be fully developed.

I will know what has to be written about and when. Nothing important will be left out.

I won’t have to have writer’s block.  If something is just not working and I want to write another scene, for example, to get away — I can just refer to my outline and choose something.

My beta readers, when reading to make sure there are no holes in my manuscript, won’t have to go back and forth so much, and they won’t be confused.

My reading audience will hopefully not be able to tell that this is my first novel!

I am glad to know that you can vary how you write your outline.  It doesn’t have to be a certain length or style, but it does have to be the way you can best work with it.

If you are a writer, please comment below.  Are you a pantser or a plotter?

If you a reader but not a writer, please let me know what type of an outliner you would be.

So – will Debbie first type up her outline and then stretch it horizontally across a bulletin board in her home office, so she can tack up more ideas that she comes up with?  Stay tuned to find out!

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4 Comments

  1. So far I would say I am a panster but then I have written mainly short stories. However, where I am developing those ideas for a novel I’m feeling that I should at least set down a loose outline. That “should” is not coming from from a feeling that I need to follow a particular “system” but more keep the ideas to hand while allowing them to develop themselves!

    • Exactly. I like the idea of how an outline can help me keep track of things in case or when I want to change things – or when I feel like writing on a different section.

      I laugh when I think of all the stories I’ve written for my other blogs. Did you ever have kind of a goal in mind when you started and then by the end found out you hadn’t written it that way, that it wouldn’t have worked? I never used an outline for those stories. Now I know why! 🙂

  2. I think I would start out as a plotter and then it would all go to pot and become a panster. Am I allowed to be both?

    • Yes! 🙂 That’s the beauty of using an outline. I am told that you can change your mind as often as you want, and that the basic framework is still there to guide your way.

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