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Outline Your Writing

After organizing your writing on your preferred software, you may have more ideas to write down. If you do, you can continue the process of recording your thoughts using your preferred instrument(s), and then organizing your notes to bring your content to one place.

However, if you feel as though you don’t have any other thoughts or ideas to write down, then it may be time for you to begin creating your outline. Creating an outline allows you to create a big picture of what you will be writing, which in turn also helps you organize your writing in a way that your topics have a logical flow.

Your approach to outlining depends on the type of project you are working on. As you know, there are two types of genres—fiction and non-fiction. Within those genres are several sub-genres. To assist you in creating the most useful outline for your project, we have created seven different blog posts, four focusing on fiction books and three on non-fiction books, as divided below:


1. Outlining for General/Literary Fiction Novels

2. Outlining for Thrillers, Suspense, and Mystery Novels

3. Outlining for Romance Novels

4. Outlining for Women’s Fiction Novels

5. Outlining for Children’s Books


1. Outlining for General (informational-based) Non-Fiction Books

2. Outlining a Memoir or Autobiography

Until then, here are some big picture ideas to consider:

If you’re writing a novel, a major focus will be on your protagonist: the development of that protagonist and the situation that spurred his/her development. Accordingly, you must be clear on the following:

1. Who is your protagonist(s)?

  • While there is typically only one protagonist and an antagonist in the story, you can have more than one if you’re telling more than one story in the single book.

2. What issue(s) will the protagonist(s) face?

3. How will the protagonist(s) deal with those issue(s)?

4. How will the issue(s) change the protagonist(s)?

If you’re writing a non-fiction book, regardless of what type of book it may be, it is important that you are clear about the objective of the book, your audience, and the main points you’d like your audience to get from the book. Therefore, keep these questions in mind:

1. What are you trying to convey with the book?

2. Who is your target audience for this type of message?

3. What are the main points of your book?

In our next blog post, we provide you tips on outlining for general/literary fiction novels. Happy writing!

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