How To: Create A Plot Outline

Tips For Writing A Plot Outline For Your Book

There are many ways to approach the process of writing. Some authors are able to sit down and let their thoughts flow directly onto the page, while others find starting out to be a bit more of a challenge. One way to begin writing a novel or short story is to create a plot outline, which is a kind of map to your writing. Sound tricky? Don’t worry; we have all the steps needed to help you create the plot outline that will get you on your way!

Set The Scene

The first step is to set the scene with your background information. This part of the story is called the exposition, and it is where you introduce your characters and setting. Take time to create a sketch of your characters and describe their physical attributes as well as their personalities. Don’t forget to establish a detailed and appropriate setting for your story, as well.

Amp Up The Action

The next element is the rising action. Here is where the main problem or conflict within your story is introduced. Is it a tale of forbidden love, or an epic struggle between warring empires? Write out the problem within your story, its consequences, and the elements that are required to resolve it. How do you plan to take your characters there?

Choose Your Climax

The climax is the most intense, exciting, or important part of your story. It is often a highly emotional turning point in the action and determines how the narrative will resolve. Now is the time to decide in which direction you want your story to go. Don’t worry; you can always make changes once you begin writing or editing, but starting out with a specific goal in mind may help you to establish a clear sense of direction

Establish An Ending

Although the climax may decide the final direction of the story, your ending is where it all wraps up. How have your characters been affected or changed? Were they able to achieve their goals, or overcome the obstacles established in the rising action? Again, do not feel as though the ending you choose while creating your plot outline is set in stone. You are always permitted to go back and make revisions to your map if your story or characters take you in a different direction!

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Do you create plot outlines before you begin to write?


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