Writing it Right

NaNoWriMo Special: Want to create chapter outlines for your story?

Nanowrimo is just three days away. The excitement is filling the air. Writers and aspiring authors would be preparing the outlines of their novels. Being a writer and an author myself, I thought of sharing with writers and readers of the world a little plan I made to assist you in creating chapter outlines for your novels.

As a writer, you would have an idea of how to write your novel. Your novel will have the following elements. There are many more elements but I am narrowing it down to the following five:

  1. Characters including a protagonist, an antagonist and other characters
  2. A Story including the beginning, middle and the end
  3. Dialogues and action along with the character’s thoughts
  4. Plot and setting
  5. Climax

Creating Chapter Outlines: 
While you would need to have an outline of your entire story to help you write better, you would also need to have outlines for each chapter. This will let you follow a clear path of story progression from the beginning until the end. I have devised an easy way of creating chapter outlines which I am also following for this year’s Nanowrimo. Here it is:

For each chapter, fill in the following parts:

1. Chapter Number:
It could be 1, 2, 3 so on and so forth

2. Chapter Name:
Write the name of the chapter

3. Characters Involved:
Write down the name of those characters who will be part of this chapter. Each chapter is either about one character (The protagonist, the antagonist or another (supporting) character taking side with the protagonist or the antagonist. It could be a combination of two or more characters)

4. How it begins:
Write down a few lines of how the chapter would begin

5. How it ends:
Write down a few lines of how it ends

6. Other details:
In this section, write in bullet points what else you want to include in the chapter which will become the middle part of the chapter and will create a link with the chapter’s beginning with its end

Why write the beginning, middle and “other details”?

Writing the beginning and ending will give you a sense of direction for each chapter. When you begin the chapter you connect it with the previous one and when you end a chapter, you end it with a question, a mystery or a cliffhanger, which includes a character’s pledge, foreshadowing, demand for action, a statement that creates curiosity, or a provocative question.

Once you have written the “other details” of the chapter along with how you will begin and end the chapter, it will give you a bird’s eye view of each chapter. When you begin writing the novel, each chapter outline will give you clarity and motivation to assist you in writing it.

Happy Writing!