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How To Write A Novel Outline After The Novel Is Complete
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How to Write A Novel Outline After the Novel is Complete

After a novel is finished, publishers and agents often request authors to send a synopsis or outline along with the first chapters. To build this outline, can be a difficult time consuming task. The brief description used in your novel outline used for writing the novel is likely to be too terse for use. However, the novel outline can aid building the formal synopsis or outline since it can be used to create the chapter headings.

Step 1: Open a new file and create a manual Table of Contents with all chapters listed

Step 2: For each chapter in your complete novel, select a section of text describing the character involved in a conflict and the resolution of the scene. Copy and paste those sections into the file containing the new table of contents. Do this for each main character active in the chapter. Find a sentence that describes the setting. Find any conversational tidbit that is important to the scene.

Step 3: Edit the copied sentences into several lines of text that conveys what happened in a logical fashion.

Step 4: Remove the chapter headings for your complete novel.

Step 5: Edit the text down to make a long passage that describes how the complete book progresses.

Step 6: Edit the long passage into a one-page statement novel outline, three-page novel outline, and five-page novel outline, saving each into its own separate file.

The easiest thing to consider deleting when editing the long passage into smaller passages is any nonessential people such as secondary characters or characters that only appear in a single scene.

Check list of things that should appear in a complete novel synopsis or complete novel outline:

1. Character names, ages, significant description detail

2. The protagonist’s main conflict and resolution

3. The emotional stages that the protagonist goes through before reaching the main conflict and resolution

4. Significant organizations that affect the protagonist

5. Environmental details that affect the protagonist

6. Any significant timing information i.e. the season, the year

One thing that a complete novel outline or novel synopsis can be used for in editing is to determine if in any chapter no event of significance occurs. If this is the case, the scene or chapter should be revised or removed.

A novel synopsis or novel outline can also check that an event has significance—if the event was never followed up upon then perhaps that scene also wasn’t needed. By comparing the two outlines, before and after, the novel can be checked to see if it accomplished all that the author intended.


Street Talk

I bookmarked this for future use. thanks for sharing this information!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

This article may come in handy for me. I am toying with the idea of writing a novel. Nice article.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

i like your article

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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