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October 18, 2010

Outlining A Childrens Novel

There are a lot of ways to outline a story, but I thought I'd share mine with you because so many of the writers I meet at conferences and writers groups are writing without one. 

I can't tell you how vital I think it is to write off an outline. If you don't, your plot goes out the window.

In screenwriting, a feature length script is often broken down into 8 sequences, two for the first and second act, and four for the 2nd. In a well structured story, specific things happen in each sequence. Of course there's tons of variation, but it's a great guide.

I mapped out a little guide sheet while getting my MFA in screenwriting from USC. You can download it in the tools section of my website. When I begin to outline a story, I print it out and write notes, scenes, and major events in the various columns, eventually typing them up in an outline doc with individual sequence headings. Later, these sequence descriptions are broken down into scenes and such.


Anonymous said...

Can I clone your article to my blog? Thank you…

Philip Isles said...

Certainly--pass along the link for linkbacks :)

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