Formal Outline Technique
Use this if:
- You like having fine, granular control and want to plan many aspects of your story.
- You like to, or you excel in thinking in a linear way.
- Your story does not rely too much on a “ticking time bomb” or time-based aspect.
Then, expand below these subpoints with sub-subpoints, narrowing the focus on finer details.
This type of outline will expand more in length than width as you add more details.
This might not be the best method if:
You don’t like to think in a linear way. (Try mindmaps)
You’re tackling multiple characters or epic stories. (Try the Timeline method)
You want something quick, with main points you can refer to easily. (Try the Query-Start method)
Writing tools I highly recommend if you want to do it by hand.
Erasable Ink Colored Pens. These are more advanced than the gritty-eraser type from the 80s and 90s. Use the different colors to color-code categories like Characters, Themes, etc.