Outlining a Novel: Post #3

Now that you have an outline set up, fill it in with anything you want to reference as you begin writing. The more details you tell yourself now, the easier words will flow later when time is short.
Cast of Characters
•Establish the major players
•Are they a family? Friends? Neighbors? Strangers?
–Names & physical descriptions
–Personality flaws, attributes
–Their goals

Outlines are a good place to list your characters. You can figure out where the characters need to appear. Some often. Some in key positions only. This can be as simple as “H&H romantic encounter – she pulls away” or Parents arrive and ruin her dinner. You don’t have to write the whole scene, just place thoughts about the manuscript’s flow. Also, you know from those two references that her parents aren’t passive church mice, they ruined her dinner. You know a bit about their personality and their family dynamic in a few words. Also we know the heroine is hesitant about the romance or maybe a tease. Something makes her pull away.


Remind yourself to ad flavor, setting and senses

•Insert a reminder at every chapter heading
•As scenes change, so will the setting
•Incorporate the 5 senses for a rich, well developed scene
–What does your MC see? Visual cues.
–Is it warm or cold? Temperature, weather
–Scent. What’s in the air?
–What can your MC hear? Add background noise for depth
–How does your MC respond to the stimuli?

Use the outline as a reminder of the changes that come with a new scene: new setting, new sensations, new perspective. Add the 5 senses into as many scenes as you can – organically. In other words, don’t force it, but snap the opportunity up if you see it.

Writing as a pantser, in the moment, has its upsides, but barreling forward can sometimes cost you details and require more time in revisions looking for areas to deepen the POV. Make notes in your outline about the senses when you settings change.

Hope some of these outlining tips are inspiring a writer out there. If you have any questions so far, leave me a comment, I’d love to help!

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