How to Outline the Middle Chapters: Outlining 101 Part 5
Hi, Y’all. Welcome back to Writing Wednesdays.
Today is going to be Part 5 of my Outlining 101 series. To review, we’ve talked about brainstorming, creating a plot line, writing chapter hooks, and the basics of outlining chapters, specifically Chapter 1. Now it’s time to move on to outlining the middle chapters.
Middle chapters are basically the chapters in between the first introductory chapter and the climax of the story. The middle chapters are the hardest to outline because they are the meat of the story. But I’m going to share with you the five steps I use when approaching the middle chapters outline.
Step 1: Layout the Plot Points
In this first step, you’ll going to layout all of your sub plots and major plot points. Everything that you’ve compiled over the course of your outline, drawing specifically from part 2 of this series, writing a plot line, but also pulling ideas from your chapter hooks.
Put all of these plotting points in one central location and make sure they are in the order you want them to take place in.
Step 2: Layout All the Characters
Now that you have all your sub plot points and major plot points laid out in one central location, it’s now time to layout all the characters.
Organize your character list with all the main characters and supporting minor characters.
In this list, you’ll need to write how you plan on developing each character throughout the story and bonus, also figure out how they are connected to each other.
Step 3: Determine Main Points
We covered a similar step to this in part 4 of this series about outlining chapter 1. To refresh your memory, main points are points that you will build up in the story and will eventually get you to those subplot points and main plot points.
In this step though, rather than just defining the main points for the plot, also figure out your main points for developing each character. For example, you’ll start the book just scraping the surface of the main character, and as you go along, you get deeper into their mind and motivations.
Step 4: Spread Them Out
Go through all the points that you figured out in step 3 and determine how to spread them throughout the chapters.
Try to come up with an estimated amount of chapters you’ll write and try to layout the points within those chapters. This helps to hone in on your thinking of connecting all the points instead of letting your mind go crazy thinking that you’ll need a thousand chapters to get everything in.
Step 5: Define the Purpose of Each Chapter
Does this step sound familiar? That’s right, this is the first step that I talked about when outlining chapter 1. Like I said then, this step is used for every chapter, and is great starting point for honing in on the extreme specifics of each chapter in order. Thus, step 5 of the middle chapters essentially kicks you off into really digging deep into the chapters.
I hope you found this post helpful. Stay tuned for part 6 of my Outlining 101 series where I’ll talk about outlining the climax of the story.
My Young Adult urban fantasy will be released by the end of 2018, but you don’t have to wait that long to start reading it. Sign up for my email list and I’ll send you Chapter 1 of Karma’s Children for free, so be sure to check that out.