The way you outline is bound to change and adapt as time goes by. A certain outline might work for one story, but for another, a few tweaks have to be made.
Usually, when I start an outline, I start with the premise, then basically recap everything that I have for the story so far. After that, I just pile the ideas into the notebook as they come.
While I’m still using that system, for my Matthews Family series, I’m using two notebooks instead of one to outline each story.
The first notebook has the usual system; that’s the rough outline. The second notebook will have a different system in place to organize those notes. Since there are 60 pages in each notebook–120 double-sided–I’ll be using 12 pages for each of these subjects:
Characters – Their bios, physical descriptions, role in the stories, etc.
Settings – Everything about the where and when.
Plot – Prototype scenes, the themes for each story (they’re pretty much the same in each book), figuring out plot holes…
Research – ‘Nuff said.
Misc – Anything I miss will be put here, and it’ll likely not be organized.
Tell me your thoughts below! How do you outline your stories?