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Would You Rather...?
Always get away with lying?
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Always know when others are lying?
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Total Votes : 9
December 2018

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 Use Plot Outlines

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Posts : 376
Join date : 2012-07-19
Age : 25
Location : Michigan

PostSubject: Use Plot Outlines   Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:52 pm

As a writer, I've learned that some of my stories crash and burn, while others soar to be somewhat decent work. Although recently I've discovered why some of my stories just don't make it, and the other grow into giant beasts of literary work. The key is a plot outline.

Now before you panic, outlines are actually really simple! And they don't have to be very detailed. For example, here is a small snippet of my outline from when I was writing "Your Last Breath".


As you can see, it's complete nonsense. Some if it just doesn't make sense. It's jumbled and broken and some sentences aren't even complete. I even have "quotes" or phrases that I want to remind myself to put into the story. However, when I skim it, I know exactly what I'm "trying" to say in that mess of words, which helps guide me to write the story.

Here is another example of an even shorter and less "detailed" plot outline. This is my current plot outline for my original fic, "Chutes and Ladders". This one is even worse and even more ridiculous.


As you can see, the amount of detail in a plot outline doesn't necessarily matter. Use as much as you need to remind yourself of what you wanted to write later on. I have a decent memory, so I can get away with quick jotted down notes. Others may need very detailed paragraphs explaining each point.

Some outlines are long (my YLB outline was TEN PAGES!!), while others are shorter (C&L is about four pages max).

All of my failure stories had no solid end, and no real plot outline. I had nothing to guide me, so I ended up just writing a day by day story, and no one likes those.which just makes it long and boring. Having a plot outline saved me a lot of time trying to think of where to take the story next, and helped me remember some things I might have forgotten along the way.

Also, having a plot outline helps you remember details you might have already written that you could forget about! In YLB, there were so many little things I wanted to eventually touch back on, such as the Psyche/Tsugaru thing, or the medication, or the "fear" concept. Having my outline allowed me to look back and make sure I touched back on base. I was able to tie up all loose ends and fix any plot holes that might have appeared while writing.

In conclusion, I suggest having the entire plot of your story (yes, the ENTIRE THING) in a quick outline like this from start to finish. It doesn't have to be long and detailed or short and to the point. You can do it chapter by chapter, plot idea by plot idea, or whatever works for you! The idea is to have a solid concept of where you want your story to go, and to help remind you of details you want to touch back on, or remind you of ideas you might have forgotten.

I hope this tip helps all of you aspiring authors to create a wonderful work of fiction!

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