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Okay, today is Day Three of the Emergence Book Party. (Are you dying to see what Emergence looks like yet? ;) )
Emergence Book party Day three: Michelle's Master Chapter Outlines:
Master Chapter Outlines
2012 copyright C. Michelle Jefferies
What is a master chapter outline?
•It is a one to few sentence outline of every scene and or chapter in the book in chronological order.
•It helps the writer in plotting, drafting, and revising the manuscript.
It helps the writer by providing a workable synopsis at the end of the manuscript process what I do before the MCO is written.
•I create the title, concept and theme of the story.
•I create the characters and develop them.
•I hammer out the Story Structure (see storyfix.com Story Structure)
•I free write a few chapters at the beginning of the book to get the feel of it. Then stop.
The one rule of writing that has saved me so much time and trouble. . .
DO NOT ADD CHAPTER NUMBERS TO THE CHAPTERS YET!!!
Okay, now that we've established that . . .
•Next thing I do is either start drafting the manuscript . . .
•If you choose the draft method, draft away!
•OR, start outlining the chapters to be written.
•This isn’t a detailed outline, where every move and motivation of all the characters is given this is the “This is the basic Idea of the chapter.”
•Chapter ____ , Boy meets girl.
•Chapter ____ , Boy is bringing girl a shake, spills it on her.
•Chapter ____ , Boy looses girl.
A nice tip to save you time. . .
Briefly summarize the chapter or scene you just wrote as you finish it or as you end the day of writing
How do you outline chapters before it's written?
•I take index cards and write the pivotal scenes (plot points etc.) and place them either on a wall or a table.
•Then write the other scenes you see happening in the book.
•Note: None of this needs to be in order yet. That happens later. This is why the cards work so well right now.
•When all of the scenes are on the cards start by placing the pivotal moments in order.
•Note: You might want to highlight the Structure/pivotal scenes so they stand out.
•The alternating POV character scenes too. (pink girl, blue boy, or separate color for each character)
•Then, lay out all the other scenes in story order.
•Feel free to move them around until the story feels cohesive to you.
•DON’T pick them up yet!!! Number the scenes before you do anything with them.
Then . . .
•If you’re a chapter planner first and drafter later—draft the story. (Make sure that the MCO changes if you change the MS)
•OR, If you’re a drafter and have drafted the story, either go back and write the MCO draft or check it for accuracy.
•Note: I name my chapters. IE, the boy spilling the milkshake on the girl chapter might be called OOPS!
•Still no chapter numbers!
Adding things to the MCO
•At this point I add a few things to the MCO
•Both main plot points and character arc points
•Plot reasoning's, why is this chapter necessary to the story and how it moves the story forward.
•Color coded everything for easier viewing.
•OOPS! Boy makes mistake and looses girl. Mark trips and spills shake all over Jennifer’s new clothes, she leaves and he is left alone. PP1
•Blue: Character POV assignment
•Orange: Plot reasoning’s
•Green: Story Structure
Now . . .
•Put the draft and MCO away for however long you need for it to be new again.
•Note: I print mine and glue it into my series bible. I have access to it at any time I need it.
Ah revisions . . .
•Use the MCO to help in revision.
•A lot easier to use the MCO when moving chapters around and changing big things on paper first.
•It gives you an overview of everything in the book on a few pages.
•Can draw arrows, take notes, use white out, copy paste, sticky notes, etc. on the paper or document.
•Use MCO as read through guide as you revise or for taking notes.
•Add chapter numbers to both the MCO and the MS.
•Update the MCO, make it completely correct.
•Save it for crit groups and publishers editing.
I promised you a synopsis . . .
•Copy paste the MCO into a separate document.
•Take out all chapter titles, plot points, plot reasoning’s character arc notes etc. Just leave the short chapter summaries.
•Now you have your synopsis. Short one to three sentence descriptions of every scene/chapter in the book.
•Go over the synopsis carefully, add any details you need, delete the ones you don’t, and fine tune it till it sounds good.
And don't forget to enter to win a copy of Emergence!! CLICK HERE!
(Paperback: US Only ~ E-book: International)