How To Write Useful Chapter Outlines

By on March 5, 2018
How To Write Useful Chapter Outlines - Writer's

Writing chapter outlines can be an incredibly helpful way of staying organised and motivated to write your story. Many writers choose to write chapter outlines before they begin their book. Doing so means they can see for sure that their story will work, get a more detailed overview of the plot down and help to ensure that each chapter drives the story forward.

So what sort of things are useful to include in a chapter outline?

Focus on the key plot points

Remember while your chapter outline should be thorough, you also want to keep it succinct. Focus on the key events that will take place in the chapter, note down the action points and make sure they fit into your story as a whole.

Describe how your character feels at the beginning and the end

Take some time to think about how your character is feeling at the beginning of each chapter and how the events that take place throughout it change them. Remember your character should always be growing and changing so make sure that you take their emotions into account.

How does each chapter flow to and from the next?

Each of your chapters should fit seamlessly into your story and flow from one to the other. When creating your chapter outlines make sure they fit into your overall plot, if they feel disjointed ask yourself if they are really necessary.

Does your chapter start and end in a way that grips the reader?

Make sure that every chapter in your book is gripping. It should start by immediately drawing the reader in and immersing them in the scene, and should end in such a way that they want to keep on turning those pages.

How does the chapter advance the story?

Every chapter needs to have a purpose. By the time the reader has finished the chapter, the story should have moved on. If the chapter doesn’t advance the story, it might need revision or removal from the book altogether.

Remember to review your chapter outlines frequently

Chapter outlines shouldn’t be rigid, they need to be flexible as when you begin to write your story you could end up going on a different track - and that’s OK Just make sure you review your chapter outlines while you are writing your book, and prepared to change them if necessary.

Spending time and making an effort to write chapter outlines that are really useful can make all the difference when you begin to write your novel, providing structure and allowing you to see your story as a whole. So whether you are just starting out or even if you are halfway through writing your novel, consider using chapter outlines to help you write more efficiently and make sure your story stays on the right track.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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