In-Depth Outlining

Haha okay I’m not going to go as in depth as Marsh-Mella-Man in my cartoon, but today I just wanted to talk about the subject of how to flesh out a novel idea into a chapter by chapter outline.

Ready? (This idea is going to be really cringy but I’m not going to take forever on this post making an original story idea, okay?) 😋

The Brave Knight and the Evil Dragon Story Idea:

(What did I tell ya’? Cringy already! 😆)

Once upon a time, there is a knight that is very brave, fearless and smart. There is also an evil dragon that likes eating people and animals alive! One day a poor farmer comes and says the dragon ate all his animals. The brave knight sets out on an exciting journey up the large mountain next to the kingdom to reach the dragon’s cave and slays him.

Alright alright yes that was probably even cringier than the name, but let’s keep going. So you have the story idea right here. Now you have to break it up into chapters and flesh it out into a novel. This may seem like it’s going to be a short book, but there are a darn awful lot of things that you can flesh out, (e. g. the brave knight sets out on an exciting journey up the large mountain) think of how many chapters just that part of the sentence could be!!

So let’s jump right into starting to outline…

Let’s start at chapter one. The first sentence of our story idea introduces the knight: Once upon a time, there is a knight that is very brave, fearless and smart.

Okay, so let’s do it!!

Outline of The Brave Knight and the Evil Dragon Novel

Chapter 1:

The knight is doing a sword match. He fights and defeats the other knight. He talks with his trainer, who then challenges him to a match as well. The knight defeats his trainer. He is the best. Shows him then going and playing chess. Defeats everyone. Is really friendly and amazing but is just the best at everything. Make everyone admire him.

So you see? I just made a rough outline of what I want to say in the first chapter. The outline doesn’t have to be any more detailed then my example. All the outline is for is to lay out what content is in each chapter and how it is all going to fall together.

Let’s move onto the second chapter and sentence: There is also an evil dragon that likes eating people and animals alive!

Chapter 2:

Shows dragon looking out over the kingdom in his cave while he chews on meat. He is very hungry. Wants fresh meat and bones, not his old stuff. He decides to go out and get some. Spreading his horrible wings, he glides out of the cave and over the mountain and swoops down upon an unsuspecting farmer!!

Okay. That one was a little shorter, but again, it’s quick, and can be expanded in the actual draft. All it is is the pure skeleton of the story.

Chapter 3:

The knight is doing a jousting match. Knocks other knight off horse. Amid cheers of applause he walks out of the arena and goes to his tent to clean up. All of a sudden a very burned and blackened farmer runs into the arena and falls at the king and queen’s seats where they were watching. He says that a dragon attacked his farm and took all of his animals and almost his life. The knight volunteers to find the dragon, and sets off to get ready.

Aha!! And so it begins. Okay, I’m gonna stop talking between each chapter now and just let you read through the rest of the cringy example outline! 😉

Chapter 4:

Knight gets ready and starts climbing mountain. Meets a little field mouse. While eating lunch together, the mouse tells the knight that he is climbing the mountain as well in search of his family that a great big owl captured and is going to eat soon. The knight and the mouse agree to go on together for their separate quests. They begin to walk again.

Chapter 5:

The mouse and the knight meet a large snake that wants to eat the little mouse. The snake says if he gets the mouse he will leave the knight alone. The knight draws his sword and attacks the snake. The snake knocks him down, but the mouse picks up a stick and whacks the snake unconscious from behind. The two heroes continue on.

Aaaaaaand yeah I’m too lazy. I’m sorry. This post is getting kinda long, and I don’t want to make up all the adventures the knight and the little mouse have on their journey. I’ll skip to the end…

Chapter 9:

At last the knight and the mouse are almost at the top. Suddenly they meet the owl!! A great battle ensues. The knight distracts the owl while the mouse goes to free his family. But the owl comes back around and flies for the mouse!! The mouse draws the little dagger the knight gave him and stabs the owl!! The owl dies. The knight is sorry he couldn’t have defeated the owl, but the mouse says it was good that he did it because it was his quest in the first place. The knight says now he must complete his quest alone, and he goes and reaches the cave of the dragon.

Chapter 10:

Knight finds dragon in cave. They do a big battle. Knight starts to defeat dragon, but dragon knocks him down with his big tail. Knight is about to die when all the mice start whacking the dragon on the head with sticks. The mice came!! The knight leaps up and using the distraction, slays the dragon. Knight sees that he is not invincible, and that even being friends with a mouse is good.

Chapter 11:

Come back, have a great party now that the dragon is dead!!

The End

Aww! What a tear jerking plot! No I’m being sarcastic. That plot was awful. Still, that wasn’t the point. The point is that making an outline for a novel isn’t really that hard. All you need to do is flesh out your little idea and get the main skeleton of your story down. 🙂
Hopefully this was helpful too you and know you can plot and outline your story idea (which is much better than the example story, I’m sure! 😆) with greater clarity and quality.

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15 thoughts on “In-Depth Outlining

  1. *swipes away tears from reading the plot* 😛
    Great post, Caleb! I enjoyed it!
    (What’s really funny is that we both posted about outlining on the same day. XD)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Daw, that was cute! It would be an awesome chapter reader for kids!! And I honestly did smile warmly and feel the stirrings of “the feels” when the mice came! And you even threw in a fantastic theme and takeaway. Pshaw, your thrown together outline was pretty darn good, Caleb!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. *gasps* Your picture is SO relatable! Usually when I’m outlining, I end up evil planning on and on about the ‘rock’ (a random thing) that would probably just end up with the character tripping or something. 🤕
    Love your post!

    Liked by 1 person

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