Day 21: And Now, The Outline (of sorts)

“All human happiness and misery take the form of action,” Aristotle wrote.

If you’ve gotten this far, you know I have a thing about not outlining your novel too early. I think an outline before you begin can stifle the process and force you in the wrong direction.

Now, however, three weeks in, is a good time to get a kind of outline down on the page. This is about the shape of your story.

Write this down:

  • Your inciting action: the first thing that happens in your book, the even that sets off everything else
  • Background: List three events that happened before the action of your novel, three events that explain how your protagonist came to be in this situation
  • Development: Take the scenes that you’ve already written, and put them in order an order that makes sense.
  • End: Write how you think your novel should end (this can change, but get something down).
  • Now: what’s missing? Make a list of scenes that still need to be written to get your protagonist from the inciting action to the end of the book.

That’s quite a bit  of work for today, but if you made quick work of it and your writing window hasn’t closed, choose one scene from the “What’s missing?” list and write it.

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