New Novel Outline - The Outline

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New Novel Outline - The Outline

Postby Kellemora » 27 Jul 2012, 15:44

Topic: New Novel Outline

Section One, lists only the outline file folders.
Section Two, re-lists the folders with commentary.
Section Three, is where you write your novel.

***
SECTION ONE:
*
Venue/Genre

Main Outline
    Story Map
      Main Idea, Problem or Conflict
      Time
      Setting
        Scene Sketch Folder
          Scene 1
          Scene 2
      Characters
        Character Sketch Folder
          Character A
          Character B
      Goal
      Plot or Theme
      Resolution


Working Outline
    Section Outline - Defines Chapters
      Section One
        Chapter 1
        Chapter 2
      Section Two
        Chapter 8
        Chapter 9

    Chapter Outline - Defines Scenes
      Chapter 1
        Scene 1
        Scene 2
      Chapter 2
        Scene 1
        Scene 2

    Scene Outline - Defines Large Scale Structure
      Scene 1
        Element A
        Element B
        Element C
      Scene 2
        Element A
        Element B
        Element C

    Element Outline - Defines Small Scale Structures
      Each Element Contains the Following Units
        Scene - Motivation
          POV
          Goal
          Conflict
          Disaster
        Sequel - Reaction
          Dilemma
            Feeling
          Emotion
            Reflex
          Thought
            Reaction
          Decision
          Action

    ***
    SECTION TWO:
    *
    Instructions and Commentary for Outline:
    *
    Venue/Genre + Individual File Drawer for Fiction, Romance, Non-Fiction, History, etc.
    *
    Main Outline + Main File Folder for this named work, often filed under the original working title of the novel. The main outline folder will contain each of the seven folders named below.

      Story Map + This file folder contains the highly condensed working outline that you will build your story from.

        Main Idea, Problem or Conflict + This entry is an overall view of the entire novels concept. What is this story about overall? Individual problems and conflicts are further defined in their respective folders.

        Time + The time period or era in which this story takes place.

        Setting + The primary setting for the entire novel. Individual locations will be further defined in their respective folders.

          Scene Sketch Folder + This folder will become massive as the story progresses and will probably be physically stored outside of the Story Map folder. We place it in this location in the outline for ease of reference. Think of this more as an images folder with more detailed scene data in the sub-folders for each individual scene. We may have 100 different MRU's (Motivation/Reaction Units) for each object in the scene located inside these folders, then mark them off as we use them to avoid repetition.

            Scene 1 + By keeping the various elements or items of an overall scene well documented it reduces redundancy and shows you at a glance if you have forgotten to include an important key to finding a clue. It also helps to reduce mistakes such as calling a pencil yellow in one scene and referring to it as orange in another scene.

            Scene 2 + Items by name are maintained in the scene sketch folder itself along with the MRU's and marked where used in your story. How they are used appears under the scene sub-folders if you choose to use scene sub-folders.
        Characters + A complete list of characters appears here as entries in your outline. Very little detail is provided here, think of it like an index of characters.

          Character Sketch Folder + This folder is usually maintained as a separate folder apart from the story map folder and can grow fairly large. It is placed in this location for ease of reference. It holds a complete character sketch for each individual, animal, bird or possibly even a unique plant used in your novel that would require same.

            Character A + You can never say too much about each of your characters. In many novels certain characteristics or features about an individual are brought into the story at a point where appropriate. When you use key features, they should be marked as used and where you used them, to prevent repetition of details.

            Character B + As an example, assume you mentioned early on in your novel that character B placed his dentures in a glass of water overnight. You don't want to come along later in the book with this character visiting the dentist for root canal work or having a tooth pulled. There are many templates available on-line to use for your character sketches if you haven't already designed your own. One thing I might add here is that often we pattern a character after someone we know, when I do this, I will often put a memory jogger in this file so I remember who it was, but never use their real name because other co-workers view my work.
        Goal + What is the primary objective to be reached at the conclusion of your story.

        Plot or Theme + In very abbreviated form, how do you plan on getting from point A to point B to point C, and which main approach will you be using to do this.

        Resolution + Briefly, how was the main conflict finally solved, which brings the story to a close. Also, did you leave a Hook so they will buy your next book?
    ***
    ***
    Working Outline
    *
      Section Outline - Defines Chapters + This is a new folder. Once the main outline and story map have been completed, we begin work on a new novel within this folder. We put together our ideas for the story and place them here, as we progress in our work, we may be continually shuffling these folders around to where they will work out best in our storyline. It is not uncommon to jump around to different chapters in our novel as we think of things we would like to include. Sometimes we even write parts as they come to us and flow from our fingers to the keyboard and then add those works to our outlines.

        Section One + Within this section we normally have brief main character introductions including the protagonist with other characters being brought into the story as necessary. Remember this is only a Memory Jogger type of folder to help you remember how you intend the story to flow.

          Chapter 1 + Introductions, Goal and Conflict. Don't forget those Hooks and Cliffhangers!
          Chapter 2 + Reaction and Decisions. Set the Hook!
        Section Two + This section and the following sections not listed here would include the events that took place that give meaning to your novel. How they prevent something from happening, or how an event takes place that sets them into becoming involved. Then in a subsequent section they would move into the investigative mode to track down the cause of the event. And in the final sections personal issues can be brought in that create new personal conflicts in reaching their ultimate goal. And of course, the closing section would be the resolutions of the problems.

          Chapter 8 + New Conflicts and Disasters.
          Chapter 9 + Decisions and Actions.
      Chapter Outline - Defines Scenes + Here we have another new and separate folder where a broad image of each scene is painted. Again very brief, it's only a memory jogger and might be shuffled around. An entry here may simply be, in the Office near the Desk. No details about the desk itself are disclosed here. No actions or events are placed in this folder. Think of it as your pictorial storyboard of the locations you will be using in your novel and which scenes these locations are used, with no characters or dialog.

        Chapter 1 + Which scenes most appeal to your reading audience for the opening? What is the best place to introduce each character? At a party, at the office, a pastoral setting, etc.

          Scene 1 + The scene showing how they met and why or under what circumstances.
          Scene 2 + The pictorial showing what contributing factor brought them together?
        Chapter 2 + How do you plan on bringing sub-characters into the story? Should they be mentioned now or later on?

          Scene 1 + The Location this new character came into the scene or the scene where the event took place that would cause this character to be introduces.
          Scene 2 + Again, these are only pictorials, broad images with no details.
      Scene Outline - Defines Large Scale Structure + This New Folder is where we begin to bring out important details about the particular scenes imagery. For example, the details about the desk and items on the desk, taken from your Scene Sketch Folder. What items become key items to the story? Which items should you ignore for now? Does an item become a clue later in your story, if so, add some emphasis to it when possible. What do we want to take place at this specific place and what elements in this scene are important to the story. It is not uncommon to add little snippets of storyline or dialog within each elements breakdown as a memory jogger. In fact, doing so can often help you get over a sudden brain freeze.

        Scene 1 + All of the elements of a scene are summarized for quick reference and named so we can find them quickly in/on their separate element entries below. It is in these elements where we define what will take place at this location involving this item, what type of dialog we wish to use here. I often include many notes to myself as to why I have this character here now, why they are dressed like they are, and what interest they have in the item. I often underline or make the lettering bold if this particular element is a major or minor clue that will be needed to solve the crime or problem.

          Element A + All the basic facts I will need to write the story.
          Element B + All of the Characters involved in this scene.
          Element C + What takes place and why? What things are said?
        Scene 2 + I like to include in my notes in this section, what each person is doing and why. Each action must have a definite purpose to the story, its Conflicts and Resolutions. It may seem like a whole lot of extra work and trouble to build an outline to work from. Sometimes it's easier to sit down and write the story then make an outline to match. But the problem for most of us is that by the time we get to chapter 3 we don't remember if we mentioned that character C walked with a limp or not and that needs to be a clue to his identification in this chapter. This is why keeping a well maintained character sketch is so important, and outlining where you want each characteristic of that person to appear.

          Element A + Important notes and memory joggers.
          Element B + Don't forget to add a key clue or observation.
          Element C + Why did I have this item here? Delete it, it doesn't fit anywhere.
    ***
    SECTION THREE:
    *
      Element Outline - Defines Small Scale Structures + Story Time! This Folder is your Novel in progress, complete with all sections, scenes, characters and elements that make it a best seller! From the outline above you now know exactly where you want each thing to take place, in what order you want them to appear, what actions take place and how you want the story to flow. Although I've only shown the element outline for your story below one time, it is used for each element throughout your novel. Today's computer age makes building a story so much easier than in the days of manual typewriters where we had to file each element properly to keep them from getting all messed up or out-of-order, but more importantly, so we could find a particular element to work on it. I know I hop around quite often when I'm writing! I might be working on an event in chapter three when an idea strikes me to improve something in chapter 14. It was not uncommon for me to have four or more different versions of the same element all stapled together and still not be happy with any of them. By keeping an exact and up to date outline, when you have a sudden impulse and pound out some storyline or dialog for something somewhere in your book, you can quickly find where that element is and place your new work in with it in your files where it belongs.

      Name of Novel
        Jacket Blurb
        Name and Author Page
        Copyright Page
        Prologue
        Index (if used)
        Preface
        Chapter One
        Chapter Two, etc.
    ***
    Below is a sampling of the MRU's that will help you to build a well structured fiction novel. I believe it was Dwight Swain that first used a simple version of the MRU's method of writing fiction. I have seen various versions of it in use at nearly every place I have worked. This version was adapted from the one currently in use and distributed by my present employer. I won't go into detail regarding how to use MRU's to your advantage as you can easily find this by doing a simple web search. Randy Ingermanson has a marvelous web site giving great detail and explanation into the use of a simple MRU's structure.

        Each Element Contains the Following Units
          Scene - Motivation
            POV
            Goal
            Conflict
            Disaster
          Sequel - Reaction
            Dilemma
              Feeling
            Emotion
              Reflex
            Thought
              Reaction
            Decision
            Action
***

In closing I want to mention one last thing, and that is to never delete anything you have written. How many times I've changed something, then couldn't remember how I had it before I messed it up so royally. Maintain a second file for your discards, but keep them filed in the same order as the elements in your novel. That way when you realize the old writing actually worked better, you can still go and retrieve it.

Respectfully Submitted
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.


S1-V12-I04
Copyright © 2012 by CHL, LC
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