6 Story Outline Techniques for Writers

When you have a story idea in mind, there can be nothing more exciting. There is so much possibility ahead, so many different ways you can envision your story coming together, that it can be difficult to sit down and outline the story, especially if you don't like traditional outlining.

That's why learning different outlining techniques are important. Quickly you'll learn that you don't need to follow a structure to outline your story, but can mix and match other techniques to find the best outlining method for you.

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How to Write a 10-Minute Play

If you're new to playwriting and want to practice playwriting, there is no better way than to learn how to write a 10-minute play. Not only is the piece short and sweet, but it makes it easy to practice over and over without wasting time. You can feel free to make errors, write dumb lines of dialogue, and tell a story that makes no sense all at the cost of 10 pages or so. (If that seems like a lot to you, remember that play pages are much shorter than fiction pages.)

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How to Write a Short Story Outline

Writing a short story can often be intimidating, even if you've finished a novel recently or some other grand project. Despite it's brevity, a short story is much looser in its structure and up for a lot of interpretation. Because of this, if you're struggling with short fiction, it becomes difficult to look to classic structure for guidance—even if you're writing a more structureless piece.

Plus, not only is the structure much different, but it also requires more efficiency with your words, which is why knowing how to write a short story outline can be a lifesaver for some in the brainstorming phase, and even great for writers approaching second and third drafts!

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How to Write a Short Story Step-by-Step

When you talk to most writers, you'll find that they often discuss how difficult it is to write a novel. And in many ways they are right. Writing a novel is grueling. It requires endurance, patience, and a lot of persevering through your own ideas.

As a result, there are tons of resources available to writers on how to write a novel, but very rarely are there guides on how to write a short story step-by-step. Writing a novel feels like much more of an achievement than writing a short story after all. Plus, there are so many different ways to write a short story, far more than writing a novel in fact, that finding one way to do it that works for everyone is impossible.

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The Short Story Shuffle: 12 Months of Short Story Writing

With the new year here already, many writers set big writing goals for themselves with the hopes that they'll finally write that novel or finish that screenplay. Such an achievement is definitely something to be proud about, but for many writers can lead to disappointment.

For instance, often you may not write a novel that year—a huge task—which leads to disappointment. Or, you may finish the novel only to realize it is total trash for various reasons. Maybe it's because you didn't plan ahead of time or maybe you did too much planning. However things go down, attempting this task alone is something to be proud of. 

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How to Write Video Game Characters

At this point in the series on how to write a video game script, you’ve brainstormed your idea and built out the world, meaning you’re now ready to fill that world with characters.

If you aren’t sure what this is referring to or haven’t yet built out your video game world, be sure to navigate back to the first post in the series using the navigation below:

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How to Create a Video Game World

Now that you’ve learned how to approach writing a video game script, you’re now ready to start building the world of your narrative and start bringing it to life. 

Though you can write a novel without doing any world building, it is absolutely essential for video games, as that is how all players will experience your story.

You cannot explore a video game through the mind, through contemplation and through thought the way you might in a novel—there always must be something for your character (and player) to wander through for your story to be a video game and not a movie or a TV series.

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How to Write a Good Video Game Story

Whether you’ve been playing video games since you were a kid or have recently noticed them as an exciting new medium to tell your story in, you may be wondering how to write a good video game story.

After all, video games seem deeply complex and overwhelming—not to mention all the development work behind them. Is writing a video game on your own really possible, let alone a good one?

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What to Expect From Your NaNoWriMo Draft

If you’re participating or have participated in NaNoWriMo, you know how hard those first few days of November can be, but also how exciting! Whether you’re writing the first few pages of your first novel ever or gearing up for your tenth piece, those first few days never change.

They’re tough and they’re grueling, but once you power through them, they’re so worth it and suddenly you feel like you can do ANYTHING as a writer.

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The NaNoWriMo Schedule for All Storytelling Types

It’s that time of year again when National Novel Writing Month is around the corner! For many people, this means finding the time to write a novel for the first time EVER. And instead of doing it alone, you do it with tons of other people going through the same thing on the same schedule!

However, what if you’re a storyteller looking to finally that great big “thing,” and that “thing” isn’t a novel? What if you’ve always wanted to write a television pilot or a play, but you haven’t yet mustered up the courage—or time—to write it yet?

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Emma Welsh