Friday, December 31, 2010

More on plot outlines

I use the narrative plot outline to jump from scene to scene, to bring out the basic story but without the dialog or details I'll insert in the actual writing of my novel. Since I've already written out several pages of the book, my outline includes those scenes and some notes for planned scenes.

Though this is a partial outline that I have to finish in the days ahead, I learned a lot from it. I could see where I needed to bring in more about one of the characters I've mentioned but not had a scene with. I need him to be on the page earlier. I also need to introduce another character who, although not apparently a key player, will provide the key to action later on.

I can see where I've been thin on info my reader will need, and I can see where I have already thought through some issues pretty thoroughly.

The outline gives me sort of a birds-eye view of my story. From there I can see where I need more peaks and valleys for excitement, and where I need to slow the action to pick up on a side issue I'm dealing with.

So forget any phobias about outlining you may have picked up in grade school and give yourself that aerial view of your novel. It's not a horrible administrative-type task--it's just another way to tell your story to yourself before you embellish it for the reading public.

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