Anger is a Map

Anger tells us we don’t like where we have been. It shows us where our boundaries are. It tells us we can no longer get away with the old life and habits. It tells us we are being reborn.

There is always a consequence to anger. It should never be acted out – but acted upon. It is a conscious reaction to being frustrated. It is your story map.

The Grenade Outline

Don’t write a detailed outline. Instead, write a list of short sentences. Scott Berkun calls these ‘sentence grenades, phrases loaded with opinions that generate shrapnel in your mind.’

When you read back your notes, you can expect ideas to explode in your mind. How these explode is entirely up to you – there is no right or wrong. You can abandon ideas or change the order or work with the opposite opinions. The only point is to withhold judgement on your writing until there are enough words on the page to work with.

Writing your outline

Your outline is a dialogue you have with yourself around the story, helping you to find the structure before you begin to write. It is a map that shows the many different routes you can take to get to the end. It is a guide, not a prison, as brief or detailed as you want or need it to be.

Each major plot-point is revealed in a scene. Write vividly. Show your story, don’t just tell it.

An advantage of writing an outline is that if you get stuck on one part, you can put that aside and move on to the next. And as you write your outline, you will find that you will see at a glance what has been missed and what needs to be written.

Writing an Outline

A stack of 3×5 cards can be an invaluable part of the plotting process. If you are like me, you will use a stack of post-it notes. Or some writers just use a single sheet of paper. The choice is yours.

Now follow your instinct. Start with the end, then the beginning, then the middle, then the two sides of the middle, before and after, then work out the scenes that link these moments.