Today my friend Kate Korsak is going to talk about being an outliner!
Kate Korsak is a seventeen-year-old fantasy writer, who found her love for writing the she was eleven. Now homeschooled and living in Florida, Kate spends most of her time working on her current writing projects. A love for reading, writing, and God keeps her moving forward and working hard in hopes of one day publishing her works!
Planning (a.k.a. Outlining)
Plotting a story is time-consuming, and can make some writers uneasy, but outlining a story is the most organized way to write, and if you’re like me, it is well worth your time.
An outline is defined as, “a general description or plan giving the essential features of something but not the detail”, which means a plotter or ‘outliner’ is a writer who plans the important parts of their project before they begin, and add the detail as they go. You’ll spend hours, days, or even weeks planning out your project before you even begin to write. This may sound tedious at first, but for some people, we prefer to know exactly what we’re doing before we start to do it, and outlining your project will give you a path to follow as you write your story.
The first step to outlining your story is starting with an idea. My novel began with the idea of a young boy who accidently becomes king. I sat with the idea a bit until I had a bit of a story thought up. The boy finds a stone that makes him king and he travels around his world to earn the right to be ruler. I liked the idea, but I wasn’t ready to start writing yet.
With an idea of what kind of story I wanted to tell, I sat down and wrote out different ideas for where I wanted the story to go. Where does the boy travel? Who does he travel with? Who is he fighting against? With questions down, I began to pick the ones I thought would best fit the story and put them in order. I gave him companions of his journey and a good reason to fight against the current rulers. My story was beginning to come together, and I liked where it was headed. From there, I moved on to the next step.
After putting together a rough plan, I began working on the details. I started by spending a lot of time with the characters and their world, learning places, personalities, and backstories before I began on the story itself. When I was comfortable with my characters and their setting, I went back to my rough idea and started the outline. (I used an outlining method from Young Writers Workshop.) When I was finished, It looked something like this:
In Gumbee Forest, Baldwin has his map, his brother, Hadwin, takes him to the caves
Baldwin finds the stone but tries to take it back
First Plot Point
Baldwin leaves with Areli, Bagus, and Hadwin to Igozi forest
Battle with the Dragon Queen, Baldwin can’t destroy her staff, he gains her powers as ruler
Third Plot Point
Go to Volrod for help, find Bagus stole his stone from the princess of Volrod
Leave Volrod and are met with the Elitar army, Hadwin is sent home with the dragons
Loose to Elitar and are taken prisoner
As you can see, this story will continue in another book, but for now, this is the outline for the first book. All of the major points are written down and I know where I am going with the story and how I’m going to get there.
With your outline complete, you are ready to begin writing your story! Just start with the opening and work your way down the outline, connecting each plot point to the next until you reach the conclusion. It’s important to remember that, as you are writing, you may find that you don’t like the direction your story is headed and that’s okay! Just re-adjust your outline and continue writing. Your outline is flexible, and as a writer, you have every right to change it as needed.
Plotting a story isn’t for everyone, but it may be exactly what you need to get your story going!
Be sure to check out Kate’s blog! https://katekorsak.wordpress.com/