Organise your thinking

If you find yourself struggling to get words down, you might try clustering, which is when you splatter words about what you need to write on a large piece of paper.


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.

Outlining Plot

You only need four plot points to start a story

There are only four plot points you need to begin planning your story:

  • The beginning.
  • The end of Act One.
  • The end of Act Two.
  • The end.

Once you know these four moments, you can be confident you have all you need to know how to tell your story.


Draw a map

See the story as a journey and draw a map to focus on where the story is going. You will have a bird’s eye view and be able to see what elements matter and what lies outside the journey.

How many different routes can you take to the same ending?