Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Outlining Your Novel - Part 2

We're back today still talking about outlines.  Here's the template I made for you guys that matches my own, if you're interested in using it. (If you want the excel file, I suspect that if you email me and ask nicely, I'll send it to you.  I just cannot figure out how to get it online in the right format.  :P)

Okay, now the formula I used for the structure of the sheet goes like this:

ACT I is about 25% of the scenes

The purple color represents stage 1, or the setup.  At about 10% into the story you have the inciting event.

Then we move into the yellow, which represents stage 2, or the new situation.  Which leads us to the change of plans at about 25% of your total scenes.

Is your brain hurting yet?  I'm an accountant, I love numbers.  :P

At the end of Act 1, you have a climax...one that will be built upon for the rest of the novel.

ACT II is comprised of about half of your scenes.

The green section represents stage 3, or the seeming progress your MC is making.  Which leads right to your midpoint climax or Point of No Return.

The peachy color is for stage 4, where you raise the stakes.  This is where we have our 75% of the way through Major Setback and Act II climax.

ACT III is about 25% of the scenes.

The pink color represents Stage 5, or the Final Push.  Tension is at an all-time high, it's do or die.  Then you have your final climax and the wrapup.

And they all lived happily ever after.

;)  So, what do you guys think?  Do you format your plots in a similar fashion?  What kind of format do your outlines take?  Is this at all helpful?  (I hope it is.  :P)

I mean, this is by no means the only way to outline, but this was was actually much easier for me to follow than any other method I've seen. 

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