Creating an Outline

Here are five tips to creating an outline for your story:

1. Set out five to ten pages, each headed with chapter numbers.

You can do this on a computer, or with ‘real’ paper. Realise that each chapter will expand, and will probably consist of several pages by the time you’re done.

2. Make notes in each chapter along the following lines:

i) What is going to happen in this chapter on the surface (i.e. momentum)?

ii) What is going to happen in this chapter under the surface (i.e. mystery)?

iii) What are the right/wrong choices presented in this chapter (i.e. morality)?

iv) How is this chapter conveying the central message of the tale as a whole?

3. If you’re having trouble constructing a plot along these lines, switch to looking at your characters. What happens to your main character in each chapter? Does anything happen to a