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6 Writing Outline Templates and 3 Reasons to Use Them

6 Writing Outline Templates and 3 Reasons to Use Them
I have a question for you: What’s your book about? No, no, I don’t want the long explanation. If you started with “Well, um, you see…there’s this girl…” I immediately stopped listening and started thinking about what I’m going to have for dinner tonight. I want you to give me the thirty second elevator pitch that’s going to pique my interest and make me want to read your novel instead of the pile of unread books I have at home on my nightstand. Okay, follow-up question time: What’s the TP of your novel? Did you seriously just say something about toilet paper? Alright, final question: What happens at the end? I know you’re giving away all your secrets, but you can share with me. Right? If you stumbled through your answers to the questions above, I’d like to introduce you to our newest set of helpful Duolit tools. Still unsure why you should take the time to fill these out? 1. 2. 3. The Basic Plot Outline « Download Basic Outline [PDF] » photo by orcmid The Detailed Plot Outline The Freytag Model Related:  Writing Plot Structure

Plotting With Michael Hague's Six Stage Plot Structure By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy So far we've discussed the Three-Act Structure, the Hero’s Journey, and the Save the Cat Beat Sheet. That leaves one more popular structure--Michael Hague's Six Stage Plot Structure. (Side note, if you ever get an opportunity to sit in on one of Hague's workshops, I highly recommend them.) This structure is a great choice for those who want a minimal amount of outlining. Extra tip: It's also a solid template for writing a synopsis when you're getting ready to submit your manuscript. Act One: First 25% Like every other act one so far, this starts out with the protagonist being who he is and getting an opportunity to act. 0-10% - Stage One: The Setup: The protagonist is fully in his identity. 10% Mark - Turning Point One: Opportunity: Something happens that provides an opportunity for the protagonist to act, and this will lead him to what will ultimately make him happy and complete. Act Two: 25-75% 75-100% - Act Three And there you have it.

How to Write a Memoir - William Zinsser Essays - Spring 2006 Print Be yourself, speak freely, and think small By William Zinsser One of the saddest sentences I know is “I wish I had asked my mother about that.” Or my father. Writers are the custodians of memory, and that’s what you must become if you want to leave some kind of record of your life and of the family you were born into. My father, a businessman with no literary pretensions, wrote two family histories in his old age. When my father finished writing his histories he had them typed, mimeographed, and bound in a plastic cover. What my father did strikes me as a model for a family history that doesn’t aspire to be anything more; the idea of having it published wouldn’t have occurred to him. My father’s two histories have steadily grown on me. Above all, there’s the matter of voice. When you write your own family history, don’t try to be a “writer.” I wrote about her once, many years ago, in a memoir for a book called Five Boyhoods. Finally, it’s your story.

How to Create a Formal Outline ~ Writing Simplified About a month ago, I promised to follow up my blog post about informal outlines with one about formal outlines. It’s taken me a while but here is that subsequent blog post. Never let it be said I am not a woman of my word! When a teacher or supervisor asks you for a formal outline, she or he is requesting a document that has very specific formatting rules. Some rules will differ according to the kind of project you're working on and any specific instructions given to you, but there are a few general rules you should be aware of that govern all formal outlines. Items should follow logical order. Items should follow logical order. First of all, make sure that the content of your outline is logical before you start nitpicking on the format. The higher the heading level, the more general the statement. Don’t let this rule confuse you. I. To further clarify the levels of specificity, here is a short example. I. Every “A” must be accompanied by a “B”. Items must be in parallel structure. I.

Fill in the Blanks: A Plot Template to Keep you on Target By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy Last week I shared some great plotting tips from Southpark creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. I've been using them myself as I revise, but I couldn't stop thinking of other ways to apply this technique. I was also thinking about something a commenter said, and how this applied to the bigger marco issues, not just in the smaller goal-driving aspects. I was working on a blog post for that when it hit me. This could make a really cool plot template. The tip works on a micro level to see if your protagonist's actions are driving the plot, but when you pull back, you can also see how the entire scene works on a larger scale. Nya is trying to steal eggs for breakfast when she's caught by a night guard. This describes the first scene. Nya goes to the Healers' League to get rid of the pain she healed the night before. The cause and effect between these scenes: The boys see her shift pain, therefore/and so they tell the Elders about her. Trying to.

Creative Writing Courses and Ideas: An Online Resource for Writers Daily Writing Tips Free Beat Sheet Template – Simple Story Development Tool There are many ways to create a “beat sheet.” On a computer. On a sheet of typing paper. On the back of an envelope. 3 by 5 cards. If you aren’t familiar with the term, a “beat sheet” is a bulleted listing of the scenes in your story. Your beat sheet can be generic (such as, “Hero meets prospective love interest”)… or specific (“Butch sees Rachel being interviewed on the news and realizes he has to meet her”). In fact, one of the ways you use a beat sheet is to evolve the generic toward the specific. If you can identify your major story milestones here, you can begin to identify the ramp-up and reactive scenes that surround them. When you’re done, you’ve got your story on one or at least several pages. Each of the four sections shows 14 beats, or scenes. Huge thanks to Storyfix reader Rachel Savage, who provided this for us. Click. Yes, you can. Will it be final? That’s what the beat sheet is for. Enjoy. CLICK HERE to get your reprintable beat sheet template.

Syllabi Syllabi We invite people to submit course syllabi based on Anthology of Modern American Poetry—on disk to Cary Nelson or by e-mail (to—for us to place on line. We are especially interested in courses that use both Anthology of Modern American Poetry and the web site. Courses may range from broad surveys to concentrated treatments of specific modern American poetry topics. Although MAPS has many resources for students and faculty writing research papers, its most notable use may be in classes every week. This conversation can be enhanced by requiring everyone to post an email or electronic bulletin board comment about one or two poems and the attendant MAPS analyses before each class. The impact of all of this on the quality of discussion can be astonishing. Advanced undergraduates or members of graduate seminars can then go on to write original poem analyses for publication on MAPS. Return to Modern American Poetry Home

Creating Outlines Creating Outlines by Kathleen Lietzau (printable version here) What is an Outline? An outline is a way of formally arranging and developing your ideas. The purpose of an outline is to help you organize your paper by checking to see if and how your ideas connect to each other, or whether you need to flesh out a point or two. Besides the basic structure (Roman numerals followed by capital letters followed by Arabic numerals, etc), there is no right or wrong way to make an outline. Macro Outlines Macro outlines, also known as topic outlines, help you to see the larger picture through a series of short phrases. For example, an outline for this page may look like this: I. A. II. A. 1. III. A. IV. A. V. A. As you can see, each part of the outline consists of just a few words, and conveys the basic idea of what belongs there, without going into too much detail. Micro Outlines Contrary to what its name might suggest, micro outlines can be even longer than macro outlines. I. A. II. A. 1. III. A. 1.

Worksheets for Writers The writing community is fortunate to have many great resources. Based on things I learned from phenomenal teachers like Larry Brooks, Michael Hauge, and Martha Alderson, I developed these worksheets* to help all writers, from plotters to pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants). Let me know at my Contact page if there are other worksheets you’d like me to create. Scroll down to see all my worksheets, or click to jump to the one you want… Story Arc Beat Sheets Writing Craft Worksheets Publishing Process Worksheets * With the exception of the Save the Cat Beat Sheet, which was developed by Elizabeth Davis, all worksheets were created by Jami Gold. New to Beat Sheets? Need examples? Note: I love sharing these worksheets, but if you give others the direct links to the files, the links won’t work. Want to Thank Me for These Worksheets? Stay Updated with Jami’s Book Releases and Blog Posts! Want to hear when Jami’s books come out and get pre-order sale prices? Save the Cat Beat Sheet:

Tips on Teaching Creative Writing by Shirley Kawa-Jump It's finally happened. You've reached the pinnacle (or at least a peak) of your career: you've been asked to teach a creative writing class. Sounds easy, doesn't it? After all, isn't writing in your blood, with words flowing from your fingertips every day? The problem is that what comes so naturally on paper is hard to explain, difficult to define and even more impossible to teach to others. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. That give and take in the classroom resulted in a lecture that was enjoyable for me, both as a teacher and as a student. For More Information: Teaching Writing Online, by Moira Allen Tips on Conducting a Successful Workshop, by Moira Allen Copyright © 2001 Shirley Kawa-JumpThis article may not be reprinted without the author's written permission. Online Creative Writing, Nonfiction, Screen Writing, Genre Classes & More Creative Writing Worksheets--The Writer's Craft Feel free to download and use the following Creative Writing Worksheets to develop compelling characters and rich, vibrant settings. You’ll find plotting your novel much more manageable with our scene chart. These Creative Writing Worksheets are free for your personal use. Character Worksheet Meeting a well-written character is one of the things that initially hooks a reader, and creates a lasting impression in fiction. I developed the following Create a Character worksheet for my novel writing course. You’ll find this creative writing character worksheet to be helpful without becoming a burden. Setting Worksheet This creative writing worksheet will help you to generate vibrant story settings. When we read we should be able to engage all of our senses, to merge fully with the protagonist. We often use our sense of sight to the exclusion of our other senses, but the other senses trigger the strongest memories and images. Scene Chart Need a spreadsheet to plot your novel?