Romantic Suspense and Romantic Adventure Author
Still chugging along on my intentional outline for Deniable Unit 1. I just hit 80%!!! Not long now 😜
Susan T. Braithwaite
That’s not chugging, that’s galloping; giddy-up sorsey 🐴
I’m curious. How detailed are your outlines?
My outlines live in the zone of just enough detail to help me get an idea of the story, but not too much detail that I get lost in it.
My initial outline for DU1 was around 8K and went into too much detail—making it difficult to see issues. I whittled it down to a couple of sentences per beat and got it to 1.2K while I went through this intentional outlining stage. After doing all the edits for protagonist, plot, genre, tone, and theme, it now sits around 5K.
Here’s an example of how detailed it is:
14. This is not a date: Elle leaves a bar with Adam. He holds her hand as they walk. She tries to pull away from him, but he pulls her so close that she thinks he’s going to kiss her. Instead, he tells her to play for the CCTV; reminding her that he’s her alibi for the murder—and that it sells it to her boss. For some idiotic reason, she’s the tiniest bit disappointed that he didn’t kiss her. She quickly reminds herself that she’s an asset, there to be used until he walks out of her life. And there is no way in hell she’s going through that again. [Romance beat: No Way 2 Elle]
When I do the working outline (the final stage of iterative outlining), it will be more detailed. Probably more like screenwriting outlines—GMC, emotion +/-, props, etc.
How detailed are yours? Do you have a specific method you use?
That makes sense! Mine are a bit less detailed than that, more like 2-3 lines per chapter, but I like your approach better. 🙂