Plotting and Outline

WHAT IS A PLOT?

It is a chain of events within a story, each of which is the result of some prior event.  Nothing in a story is random, everything is cause and effect.

HOW DOES A PLOT DEVELOP?

Quite simply, things get worse.  Never let the main character sit back and watch. He / She must always take action, even though every attempt to make things better, only makes it worse.

WHY SHOULD I OUTLINE ?

To be sure that tension is building and you’re not going off track. To prove to yourself that there is enough material for a book and to make the road seem a little easier to travel. To ensure that all loose ends are tied up.

Open note book, pens and clip board
Photo by Natasha Fernandez on Pexels.com

THE OUTLINE WILL NOT WRITE THE BOOK FOR YOU

Outlining will not cause the creative energy to dissipate or take away the fun of writing, usually the opposite is true, as you see the story has not only a concrete beginning, middle and end but a fascinating series of events that bind it all together. Outlining can aid the creative process as one idea feeds another and another.  But you still have to sit down and make the action come to life.

WHAT FORM DOES AN OUTLINE TAKE?

Whether chapter by chapter or complication to complication, point form or paragraph, it should flow from beginning to end in a logical fashion.

NOTHING IS WRITTEN IN STONE

The actual writing of the story will often take you on tangents that may lead nowhere.  The outline can help you rein it in and keep on track.  However, if the tangent makes the story more interesting, stay with it and change the outline.

(This post was originally published on our old web platform.)

— Christine

I hope you found this post helpful. Have tips or ideas you’d like to share, please leave a comment. Or if you want to pass on the love, share this post. Thank you.

Published by

christine colorado

I enjoy writing cozy mysteries and historical fiction romance. A member in good standing of the Hamilton Mountain Writer's Guild, I find inspiration for my stories when traveling. Whether dog-sledding in Algonquin Park or Fly fishing in Scotland my adventures can lead a reader anywhere.

3 thoughts on “Plotting and Outline

    1. My gray areas are usually the-in-between. I have an idea for let’s say the middle and ending. Filling that gap with tension, conflict and gripping scenes that advances the story is where my story direction is tested.

      You’re also right about being familiar with key elements of the story- it’s a great motivator when reaching the next act.

      Liked by 2 people

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