In Episode 16, Rekka proposes writers who worry about outlining are asking about two separate things: the process of creating a useful outline, and the process of building a strong story structure.
We’ve touched on the process of outlining briefly before, but a listener has asked for some more specifics, so we really dive in.
Timestamps & Key Notes:
2:00 – Discussion on noir and other films
16:07 – Rekka reads a new Review
JohnAHoda – 5 Stars
“Great chemistry between Rekka and Brian. I like the easy banter while they deliver golden nuggets on the days topic. My journey is made easier by how they clear out the brush, brambles, and thorns as they forge their own individual paths. I subscribed recently and just inhaled the back-list. Oh, before I forget, the tips on what to do next with your first draft by their occasional guest John [Adamus] are game changers for those getting serious about their craft. I listen mostly in the car, and it feels like they are buckled up with me on the ride. More please!”
Thank you, John!
25:30: Discussion on Outlining Gets Going
- Formal outlining styles isn’t so important
- Rekka writes as much as she knows about the plot then decides if it’s backstory, act 1, act 2, or act 3.
- 2397 words for a 40k word targeted story. Example line from Rekka’s latest outline: Character has contracted a bounty hunter to bring her someone for a redacted purpose.
- You can put together an outline where it’s almost to the point of being a full synopsis
- Scrivener is amazing and way better than Pages or Word when it comes to organizing your writing. Rekka makes her outline into virtual index cards to re-order things visually
- Story structure is next, after getting everything she knows into the initial outline
- Pro-Tip: You want to get the reader attached to your main character as fast as humanly possible
- Opening hook will normally get you up to 25% of the story
- The 25% really refers to the heavy lifting of the story, not necessarily the word count
- The middle build is next – piling up consequences from the opening hook. It’s normally the point of no return for your characters
- At 75% your characters finally make the decision that they have to change something and take charge
- 75%-100% is the big pay off
- The epilogue is important. If it’s done right, the whole story just feels right.
- Every story has a beginning, middle, and an end and thus is not a tangent (As Brian and Rekka show they very much love in this episode)
- The plot doesn’t come out of the things you want to happen; it comes out of how your character would react to the world around them
- If you don’t know your characters inside and out before you start drafting your story you risk ending up with multiple dead ends where you’ll end up having to backtrack
- To help get into the head of your character try free writing a letter to yourself from your character
- Sometimes it helps to get your story’s structure to point M and work backward. What needs to happen to get “that” to happen
- You’re not going to be graded on the formality of your outline. Find the process that helps you get the ideas out of your head
- You have to determine what works best for you.
- There are other methods like Mind mapping, visual plotting tools, and so on
Reviewer John Hoda’s book, Mug Shots: http://amzn.to/2rr2s9Q
The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell: http://amzn.to/2G0rwaL
A breakdown of Campbell’s thesis, “Examples of Each Stage of a Hero’s Journey”: http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-each-stage-of-a-hero-s-journey.html
The Story Grid, Shawn Coyne: http://amzn.to/2Dn4Tf0
The Busy Writer’s One Hour Plot, Marg McAlister: http://amzn.to/2DVmzj7
Wonderbook, Jeff VanderMeer: http://amzn.to/2BioFXg
Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success: K. M. Weiland: http://amzn.to/2DpnQO3
Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story: http://amzn.to/2rt4u9o
The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks: http://amzn.to/2BhEcqk
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte: http://amzn.to/2DmO6J6
The Risk Pool, Richard Russo: http://amzn.to/2DnHb2n
Manchester by the Sea (movie): http://amzn.to/2Dvn4DC
Scrivener / Scapple (software): http://www.literatureandlatte.com/