How To Write An Effective Novel Outline


The road to creating an exciting novel starts with a good outline. An outline gives you a roadmap regarding your book. Use the outline to brainstorm ideas. An outline acts as a starting point for your novel. It acts as a roadmap to your novel. Create the perfect outline. Create a flexible outline. Learn how to outline a book or novel with the following tips and tricks.

Think Creatively

Don’t limit yourself. Creativity is important when creating a novel outline. View an outline as your novel’s map. It gives you a direction. Take advantage of this freedom and create the right outline. You can choose any route. The most important thing is to get to the destination.

Choose Your Outline Carefully

You don’t have to do what other writers are doing. You have your own ways of doing things. So, find the process that works for you. Have your unique voice. Don’t copy-paste outlines from other writers. It won’t work. Remember, writing is all about creativity. Everybody is blessed differently.

There are different outlines online. Choose an outline that suits your preferences. You have the freedom to use any outline. Modify existing outlines to suit your style.

Get Inspirations From Top Writers

Learn from others. Learn from the best writers out there. Join writing groups. Learning from established writers will take you a step closer to the best book outline. Take advantage of generous writers out there. They will give you free tips, tricks, and even samples. Pay attention to how they start an outline, the content, and the end.

Know Story Structure

An outline is all about splattering your thoughts on a piece of paper. Your first draft should be messy. However, you should start thinking about turning the jumbled ideas into a cohesive story. To get to this end, you need to use the right story structure.

A story structure will inject a solid beginning to your story. A structure will define what’s going into the beginning, middle, as well as end. It will determine how the story will be developed.

Use Outline For Mapping Out Character Arcs

The heart of your story rests with the characters. They act as the soul of your story. Choosing the right character should be a top priority. Use an outline for mapping out these aspects. An outline will help you visualize character development within a story. You can visualize how they will change in the story. Use a character-based profile template to understand the internal character arc.

Make It Flexible

A good outline should be flexible. As such, don’t make it tight. Consider leaving space for new ideas. Remembers, certain new ideas will come to your mind after the first draft. Doing so will maximize the potential of your outline. Forget about the finer details. Focus on the broad strokes of the outline.

Of course, you can get into the finer details right away. However, new things will come up. Don’t get engaged to anything yet. You need to experiment with new ideas. This is not the end of the outline. Embrace an open mind.


Creating an outline is like allowing fluid to flow. It will reach greater distances. Your outline, too, is destined for the best. What you are seen is the first draft. You haven’t dreamt about the finer details. Thus, it’s all about experimenting with new ideas.

Tomorrow, you might decide to move scenes. You will adjust the stress points to fit into a particular style. It’s also possible to change the pace, especially if you notice or feel that it’s quite slow. Also, if the climax seems to come too soon, consider shifting it back. Add exciting scenes. Tinkering with the outline will optimize your story. It allows you to put your creativity into practice.

Use Online Tools

You don’t have to suffer alone. Leverage online tools to create that perfect outline. Thus, switch from that pen and paper. Take your game to the computer. If Microsoft Word is not enough, why don’t you try tools like Trello and Scrivener?

You don’t need expensive tools. A simple one can do the magic. Plus, choose an outline that fits your explicit needs. Select an easy-to-use tool.

Make Use of Templates

You don’t have to struggle. The main thing is to write a story. An outline is designed to guide you. So, whether you create it from your head or use a template, you’ll just reach your destination. A template is easy to follow. It shows you where everything should go.

Don’t Strive For Perfection

Don’t strive to hit the perfect outline. Don’t try to make your outline flawless. An outline is just a guideline. Remember, the main purpose of outlining is to put rough ideas on paper. These rough ideas will springboard your story. Thus, this is all about creativity and not perfection.

Why Should You Create A Book Outline

Making a book outline gives you a roadmap. It guides you. An outline saves you time. It makes your work organized. It eliminates stress. Here are the top reasons why you need a book outline.

Eliminates Plot Holes

Plot holes can make you struggle to get your book done. Remember, at one time, you will forget certain events or issues. An outline eliminates these issues, making your writing flawless and easy.

Emotion Mapping

The success of your novel or book depends on how you create emotions. An excellent emotional flow will make your book look impressive. An outline helps you plan how this flow will fold out. Charting emotions in a novel without an outline can be challenging. This will get your readers involved in the story.

Minimizes Continuity Errors

Readers hate continuity errors. Too many continuity errors will take your readers out of that big moment. It kills the realistic aspect of your story. To cure this, have a good outline.

Quality, Faster Writing

An outline acts as your central reference point. Whenever you are lost, you will refer to the outline. This makes the process of writing faster. Plus, it will improve the quality of your writing.

The Bottom-Line

Don’t create a rigid outline. It should be flexible. Embrace creativity. Draw your inspiration from the best writers out there. Choose an outline that works for you. Get the story structure right. Practice first. Use the above tips and tricks to create the best outline. 

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