Christmas Advent #21: Outline

Chris Crowe (who is very important and famous) told me that I should outline my very bad draft of a novel. I said, why? he said, because it’s a mess. 

And it was. 

Today I want you to outline a book you have already written. What does each chapter say and what does each chapter do? There is a difference. 

Ask yourself questions: How does this chapter advance the plot? How does it develop characters? How does it build tension? Does it move the reader in the right direction? What parts of the chapter drag or are unnecessary? 

If you want, draw a pretty chart to show how the interior conflict and exterior conflict are working together and see if they peak at the same time. How long does the resolution take? More than a chapter? Why?

In other news, here is a list of all the movies I have watched parts of at the gym. I think it’s fascinating:

The Three Stooges. 

Twister (favorite one so far)

Speed Racer

The Office

Puss in Boots

Fern Gully (Almost the worst)

John Carter (the worst–sorry Tim Riggins fans)

This Means War (twice)


Over my Dead Body

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King




Toy Story 



There are more but I can’t think of them. i’m learning A LOT about story with these things (surprisingly speed racer gave me an epiphany). Especially when I come in near the end and then get to watch the beginning. It’s a pretty good exercise to see how they set up the movie in order to make the ending work.

I do wish I could read the minds of the Golds Gym people. Why these movies? Why? Fern Gully? And please do yourself a favor and NEVER EVER try to run to the new Three Stooges movie. It is painful. 


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