We have various ways to outline our stories. Many of the writers focus on characters where as writers like me love the focus on the plot and play with it. For me the story idea comes as a form of scene or situation for some they might first think of a character and then weave a story around them. Outlining is essential when it comes to build a strong plot.
So, whatever the format might be we all need to at least prepare a five page outline of the same. Without the outline we would be trapped in an endless loop of conflict and relief kinda thing. So here is what I do when I outline. These steps may or may not be similar to you, but these steps might help you to build your story.
1. Writing down your plot ideas on a paper: I think of the scene that had just flashed a couple of minutes ago before I started to write this article. The scene was about fire and love, something correlated – how ? I don’t know. The second step comes to weave something around the same topic fire and love. What can the possibilities be? Maybe whenever they touch there will be fire around them ? Maybe both are the fire gods’ descendants. It can be pretty much anything. So jot down the ideas. PS. Please don’t use this idea, I’m trusting you guys. Any how this is a published, copywrited story on wattpad.
2. Putting the ideas in chronological order. This is very important while outlining. The scenes or even rough ideas of what will happen after what.
3. Think of the character now. Who he/she is? Is she tall or short with straight black hair or curled up blonde hair. Think of her eyes, are innocent, almond shaped or wild, catlike, if they are wild, catlike, is she really wild in her nature or she pretends to be wild- I guess this trope is overused, so let’s put a innocent, short, girl with large almond shaped eyes, straight nose with piercing and black curls with highlight. And now try to put her into plot. Think of what all difficulties she will have to face while leaving in a strict house where piercing are considered are doing of wayward kids. Make a basic character chart of their external appearance, and their traits. BASIC.
In short play with your characters and plot until you move towards next topic.
3. The supportives and love interest. I guess you all have thought of supportive characters when you were plotting out scenes. The supportive consists of the friends, family and love interest (only if you want to keep one) Is your main character’s family with her traditions or against her. Are her friends supportive about most of her decisions or critical. Or they just don’t care? Does she have any love interest ? Or will she meet in the story further.
4. Now tap into her back story, under what conditions she was born. How did she meet her friends? If she had an ex, how did they dated and what was the reason for their break up. Maybe you can use it to create more conflict.
5. Once you have all these things think about the setting. Is it an ancient or modern story? Is it taking place in small town, countryside or huge city? Is you main character studying, working or too old for both the things, then describe the character’s school, office or home, respectively.
6. Now you might have enough knowledge of how your character looks and what her nature basically is like, so start interviewing them. An questions about every small and big thing you want to know from them. Their reactions on certain things etc.
That’s all you need before you start writing your story, once you’ve finished these steps you can start writing. So everybody enjoy your writing hours and I’ll enjoy mine. See you all later!
Some five prompts which might help you write something. These were used on our Instagram page for a writing challenge. There are word prompts, picture prompts, dialogue prompts and situation prompts. Write on whichever you want.
I would love to read the stories you’ve wrote. Feel free to send me a link via tumblr or Instagram. Maybe we can have a writerly chat. And if you think you know a friend who has a writer’s block or is trying to start a new story, help her out by sharing this article. Enjoy!
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