Outlining

by Ajahnee
(Michigan)

Hello, I have a question. I can't seem to find the answer anywhere. Hopefully you can help me (: .


So I want to write an urban fiction novel, I have all the ideas written down I just need help outlining the novel. The problem is (well it's not really a problem, I'm just having an issue with this), that I am writing it from three different characters point of views. But I want to write it in first person.

So my question is how can I outline my novel and make their storylines flow together?

Thanks in advance (:

Answer: Are you familiar with the idea of using scene/event cards to work out your plot? Here's what to do...

Get a pack of 3x5 inch blank (or lined) index cards. Write each event in your story on a separate card. By events, I mean all the changes that together form a cause and effect chain. Often events are scenes, but you can have more than one event in a scene.

You can have a different sequence of cards for each subplot.

Lay the cards out on a big table or bulletin board in the order they will appear in your story. Take your time arranging and rearranging the cards until you arrive at the perfect plot sequence. At any point, you can add, remove, or rewrite cards to make a better story.

If you're working with multiple point of view characters, there are a couple of variations.

First, if each character's story is mostly independent from the others, you could have a separate sequence of cards for each POV character (and one for the overall story). After you've worked out each sequence on its own, you can merge them all into one sequence for the whole story.

If the characters' stories are tightly interwoven (that is, more than one POV character appears often in the same scene), then look at each scene and ask yourself whose point of view it would be best told from.

You can then colour-code your cards. Assign each POV character a colour and put a coloured dot or mark on each card that indicates whose point of view the scene will be told from.

Bear in mind that while you can have multiple events in one scene, don't change points of view in the middle of a scene. In fact, it's best to do so only at chapter breaks.

The only way around this rule is to go back and retell a scene from a different point of view.

Comments for Outlining

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Dec 20, 2013
Thank you!
by: Ajahnee

Thank you so much, I found this very helpful (:

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