Once upon a time, there was a self-publishing podcast from which sprung the Facebook group The Smarter Artist. To create a platform where indie-writers could meet like-minded editors, a bunch of editors within this group of writers created the spin-off group The Smarter Artist Editors. Long story short, a dedicated few started a weekly thread sharing editing tips with the community, and we’re now ready to share these tips with the world.
Today, I’m sharing a tip from myself.
I have an outlining resource to share with you, and you might think ‘Wasn’t this thread for editing tips and tricks?’ Yes, yes, it is! But us editors (especially us developmental editors) often receive the question:
‘What is the best way to outline a story?’
Well… I’m sorry if this bursts anyone’s bubble, but there isn’t a universal best way to outline a story (I really am sorry!). Every writer will have their own preference, and even a single writer might feel the need to use different strategies depending on genre/the kind of story they want to tell at a particular moment in time.
That doesn’t mean you have to start entirely from scratch and figure it out all by yourself! On the contrary 🙂 But there are so many books on outlining available because none of these outlining methods work for every single writer.
It’s really about finding the best way for you, and for the story you are working on right now, and that’s why I wanted to share this particular website. I recently stumbled across it when searching for outlining methods for a client, and I love how it provides so many different ways of going about an outline in one place. It makes it very easy to try and test them with the story you’re currently working on, and see what works and doesn’t work for you!
Do keep in mind that, when I say every writer will have their own preference, that it’s totally OK to take this bit from that method and that bit from that method and so on. None of these methods are set in stone; they’re meant as a guideline to make outlining easier for you, not as a set of limitations you have to impose on yourself. Go with what feels right for you and your story, even if that means a little mixing and matching.