You may spend a lot of time thinking about how to start writing your very first novel. You may envision that it should be pleasing and exhilarating to read. What genre would you prefer to write? Is it some kind of a romantic novel, a science fiction, horror, crime or fantasy? It is up for you to decide. Before you start writing a story, you must need a novel outline that would guide you in making a perfect novel that you’ve been wishing for.
A novel outline is like a mind map that uses charts and any visualization techniques that contains information about your novel’s characters, scenes and many more. You don’t have to write the full details of the story. You just have to sort out some important and short details about the story to keep you guided.
When you create an outline, you would be able to see the whole picture of your story written in an organized manner. It would be clearer and you can easily keep track on what would be the next scene of the story. You can easily spot if the next scene is aligned on the previous one. If you’re stuck on the last idea you had, you can check on your novel outline that will keep you supplied with another ideas for the next scenario of your story.
There are outlining methods that you can use upon creating your stories.
– the overview or summary of the story. This encapsulates the beginning, middle and end of your composition
– this type of outlining involves making summaries in every chapters.
– This method will require you to compose a sentence with a high level of detail about your story. From that short detail, you are going to build up series of information that would link the characters and scenarios of your story.
You can either use your pen and paper or an application in making a novel outline.
There are also stages in writing an outline.
The first step is you need to build a foundation of your novel. Readers would often ask the question: “What is your story all about?” You also have to identify the genre of your novel so you will keep focus on what would be the possible reaction and feeling of your readers upon reading your novel. This is also the time where you are going to name the characters of your story. You should provide the characters with specific details about themselves. Here is an example:
“Charles Dalton is a teenager who lives in Florida with his foster parents. He is a curly-haired kid with beautiful brown eyes who loves to play guitar. He is a consistent honor student but undeniably unsociable because of his fear of peer pressure.”
The second step is to start building the scenes. The scenes make your story seem real. It provides the readers with different emotions depending on what is happening in the story. If you are having a hard time organizing your thoughts, you may go back to checking what method of outlining are you going to choose. Would it be the synopsis outline? In-depth outline? or Snowflakes method?
Every novel outline follows a specific format along with the things that you want to keep track over your entire story.
The third step is to make necessary corrections in your novel outline. You may want to erase redundant words or scenes in your story, unnecessary details and more. Assess your outline if the current scene fits the flow of your story for the next scene. Spellings need to be corrected too.
According to Stephen King, “outlines are the last resort of bad fiction writers who wish to God the were writing masters’ theses.” Nevertheless, whatever kind of writer you are, you must always remember that there is no exact way of writing a novel. It simply depends on what method you use and how effective it would be for your novel.
Some novels do not have chapters. Chapters are only there to make it easier for the readers to follow the story.
Genres would include romance, mystery, crime, historical, fantasy, horror and more.
You may approach a literary agent or a literary major teacher who can proofread your work.