Writing a book can get complicated because there are so many factors that you have to take into account. And without a set strategy, it is very easy to lose track of your writing. This is why you should know how to create a plot outline. With a plot outline, you could keep track of your overall plot from top to bottom. Think of the outline as a blueprint or map that will guide you throughout the writing process. But before you start on your plot outline, you should know what you are doing. Here are 4 highly effective tips on how to create plot outlines for your book.
1. Identify your overall premise
Before you start making the plot outline for your book, you should first identify your book’s overall premise. What is it about? What’s the driving force of the story? What is the overall theme each chapter should encapsulate? By identifying your overall premise, you will be able to start on the writing process with a clear cut vision of your story.
2. Create detailed dossiers for your characters
Your characters are the central figures in your story. So it makes sense that you flesh them out as much as possible. Don’t just write characters just for the sake of writing them. When you write a character, there should be an underlying reason as to why you created them. Each one of your characters should contribute to the overall depth and progress of your story. Create a detailed dossier for each of your characters. Give each of them a backstory, unique features, personalities and a clear motivation throughout the story. Giving your characters detailed dossiers will make them easier to write and place in key roles.
3. Make your settings as detailed as possible
Aside from creating detailed characters, you should also make your settings as detailed as possible. Remember that your settings are an integral part of your story. They are the locations where the story will take place. So make them detailed. Give each one of them a unique feel. If one of the settings is wooded, then describe the area. Describe the sights and sounds. The flora and fauna. You should also make a list of the settings in your story and link them to each corresponding scene. This will make the writing process a lot more efficient.
4. Highlight the main conflict
The conflict is the turning point in a story. It is what moves the story forward. The first part of a story before the conflict is nothing more than exposition. It is the calm before the storm. And the conflict is the event in a story that will bring an abrupt change in the narrative. So take the time to build up and highlight the conflict. Give hints and subtle nudges to the coming conflict. The conflict is the struggle between two opposing forces. It could be universal such as the conflict of good versus evil, or it could be more complex like two opposing political ideas. The conflict could even be a personal disagreement between two characters. Whichever type of conflict you choose though, make sure that you highlight it throughout your story.