Writing Wednesday: Expanding an Outline

Back in August I wrote about my use of Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method of designing a novel. I used it to analyse a novel I’d already written and found weaknesses and plot holes, and great gaps when characters didn’t appear. It was quite distressing.

Coming up next month is NaNoWriMo, and I’m planning a novel for then. I started outlining using the Snowflake Method, but right now I’m reading The Story Book by David Baboulene, and decided to try out a method he suggests. This involves writing the major sections of the story on file cards, and then expanding each card to more cards as you identify more details and more incidents.

You often find that an incident you want to happen at one point, needs setting up earlier on. So you can create a card for the setup, and insert it where it needs to go. For example, in Back to the Future, which he worked on, one incident is that Marty McFly invents rock and roll. To do that, he needed to be shown earlier playing rock and roll before he gets sent back to the past.

David Baboulene ends up laying them all on the floor, and rearranges them to decide the order of the story. I haven’t got that far yet, but I’ll let you know how I get on. Even if I don’t get the novel all done, it will be good to see how the technique works out.


About Ann Marie Thomas

Married since 1974, Christian since 1986, 4 children, 4 grand children, disabled with fibromyalgia but was working almost full time until a stroke in May 2010 changed my life completely. Writing poetry and making up stories since I was a child, I only started to write seriously when my children were grown. My main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way I got distracted by local history and poetry about my stroke. Taking early retirement gave me the chance to concentrate on my writing. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, was published in print and ebook at Easter 2012. The success of Alina led to the publication of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. I am still writing science fiction - a series of novels called Flight of the Kestrel. For all my author news, see me author blog at www.annmariethomas.me.uk
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One Response to Writing Wednesday: Expanding an Outline

  1. Pingback: Writing Wednesday: Writing Layers–Structure | Ann Marie Thinking Out Loud

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