NaNoPrep #2: The Outline

Now we are getting into the nitty gritty. We have collected all of our ideas by either brain dumping, brain storming, or both; now, it is time to put all of that information into an outline that we can use as a map during our NaNoWriMo adventure.

The only problem with this is there are hundreds of way that someone could outline a novel. From the most vague to the most in depth everyone will outline just a little bit differently. So instead of telling you how to outline your novel, I want to share with you a few of the different methods I have used over the years. That way you can hopefully find a method of outlining that suits your style.

1. Katytastic’s 3 Act: 9 Blocks: 27 Chapters.

So if you aren’t aware Katytastic is a popular book review over on YouTube who also participates in NaNoWriMo ever year. In fact Katytastic was who introduced me to the yearly challenge, so it only makes sense I would include her outlining method.

This was the method I used to write my very first NaNoWriMo novel, It involves dividing the story into 3 acts that you then break down into 9 blocks and then 27 chapters. I enjoyed using this outline, though decided that the outline was a little too structured for my own tastes.

If you want in learning more about this method I would recommend checking out her video over on YouTube by clicking HERE.

2. The Heroes Journey

This is perhaps the most traditional method of story telling, originating all the way back to the story of Greece and Rome. The Heroes journey follows the hero through a series of events. It focuses on the growth of the main character as they attempt to complete some kind of quest.

I used this recently to outline a novel; however, I found it limiting depending on what kind of genre you are working on. The heroes journey lends itself to adventure, Fantasy and Science Fiction, but isn’t the greatest choice if you are writing romance, mystery or horror.

You can learn more about The Heroes Journey and how it relates to the Star Wars series by clicking HERE.

3. The Snowflake Method

So this may be the most popular of the three methods, and more than likely you have at least herd of it. In the Snowflake Method you start off with a basic sentence and gradually expand it into a paragraph, then a page etc. Along the way you also write a synopsis for your characters and setting.

Out of all the methods of outlining I found that this is the most rounded. Not only are you working on fleshing out your plot, but you are also fleshing out you characters and developing your world. The snowflake method is my method of choice for this year, and so far I am throughly enjoying it.

The original creator of the Snowflake Method has detailed instructions on how to complete the snowflake method; which you can find by clicking HERE.

Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list of outlining methods. It would take a novel length post to cover all of them. This however covers the three methods I have the most experience with.

So if you are outlining for NaNoWriMo what method are you using, and how is it going so far?

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