As mentioned in the previous article the first step in working towards the goal of writing a novel is good organization, focus, and preparation. In this article, I would like to take it a little further by continuing to follow the steps as indicated by using the flowchart below and provide a sample of an outline.
Identifying the sections of the manuscript will go a long way towards less effort and timely completion. I will outline the continuing flow of thought by moving forward from the previous article:
As indicated in the above schematic we move through the next step, time period, by identifying the macro time phase on down to the micro as identified by the specific Emperor of the Assyrian Empire. From there it is easy to determine a plot. I have used book 2 in The Causality of Time series as an example of the plot that was utilized. I combined two which included a love story surrounded by military exploits and struggle. Anyone or combination of plots can be used to create an intriguing and in-depth examination of the characters and their relationships. If so desired the plot can be broken down even further to identify the surrounding circumstances, existential threats, causes, problems, victories, etc.
The plot can be further defined and flushed out in an outline. This provides the author with the ability to take the main ideas and put them down in a practical and sequential manner that will assist with the flow of creative thought. As an author I have most of the story in my head so at first I did not understand the need to put the main points down in note form. Instead I decided to dive into the writing and start with chapter one without carefully outlining where I will go from there and unfortunately I had to revise, revise and revise again to get the proper flow, time sequence and actions of the various characters. This slowed the process down and wasted a lot of time. So from hard-won experience, I suggest the use of an outline. An outline for a fiction novel is not the same as an outline for a thesis or white paper project however some of the main points are similar. Please see the main areas of a typical outline below (I am using Book 2 of The Causality of Time as an example):
Title: The Causality of Time – Conception
Author: Jonnathan Strawthorne
Genre: Alternate historical science fiction
Setting: Earth (Mesopotamia), 14th dimension, Bluiun-thros planet (Mindroth galaxy) and the Ont-kon-strisch planet (Homs galaxy)
– 1158 BC to 751 BC earth time (407 years), ancient history during the reign of Assur-dan 1 the Emperor of the Assyrian Empire and its expansionist military campaigns against the Babylonians, Elamites, Persians, and Medes.
– 14th dimension 10,842 years before 1158 BC and the exploits of Talmido, the main character on Earth.
– Homs Galaxy 12,847 to 10,842 years before 1158 BC and the exploits of Talmido, the main character on Earth.
– Mindroth Galaxy 3 million years before the birth of Talmido, the main character on Earth.
Earth – third dimension
– The struggle for freedom from the prevailing hegemony of the Assyrian Empire by a ragtag group of displaced and fleeing people of various tribes and tongues. They flee towards the Sea above the land of Akkad (Persian Gulf) all the while witnessing the marvelous beauty of a land long forgotten in its fertility and diversity.
– The military campaigns fought, won and lost while building their city-state.
- First against an expeditionary force from the Assyrian army.
- Second from a Babylonian army contingent.
- Third against a main contingent of the Assyrian army in a desperate attempt to secure a naval base and trade route.
– The alliance with Elam and its desire to conquer Assyria by amassing vast armies of antiquity through diplomacy and treaty with the Persians, Medes, Kassites, Arameans and Parthians.
– Build a city-state unknown to the ancient world that will last for a millennium and become the most valuable military, naval and trade junction/route of that ancient world.
– Talmido falls deeply in love with Gelal-tiamat. He fathers ten children with her while building the city and assisting the Elamites in their battles against the Assyrians. He marries three more women and has children with them in addition to the ones from Gelal-tiamat.
– As the years go by Gelal-tiamat continues to get older and eventually passes away. His wives, children and best friends are also getting older and passing away while he stays young. This breaks his heart and he decides to leave his beloved family and city to wander the ancient world of Mesopotamia, the western lands of the middle east, Europe, Spain, North Africa and finally, centuries later, to arrive back where he started.
– continued sabotage of the Focus Intelligence group’s experiments and methodology.
– increased subterfuge of the Trilateral Perigee and its interaction with Mankind, Sirous-astro-tis and Nreim-hin biological races of intelligent life.
– alliance of FI and RI founders to stop the Trilateral Perigee in their quest to dominate intelligent life in the third dimension.
– a final military showdown within the third dimension between the FI and RI Special Warfare Forces and the Trilateral Perigee, Annunaki and the military forces of Man, Sirous-astro-tis and Nreim-hin loyal to the Annunaki.
Mindroth Galaxy – the third dimension
– Ont-kon-strisch – the homeworld of the Sirous-astro-tis beings.
– galactic war on various planets rebelling against the Pi˜͂olinstus dynastic galactic empire.
– Admiralty ship and fleet as it traverses the Midroth Galaxy looking for the scattered civilian starships.
As can be seen above the outline sets the basic storyline and parameters to keep the sequence of events and actions of various characters and defining moments highlighted and ready to be flushed out. With more detail and vibrant language to capture the heart, mind, and soul of the reader while at the same time not losing the sense of the story and its ultimate conclusion, you the author can assure the emotional appeal of your story. In the third installment of, To Write a Novel, I will continue with the Flow Chart and the Outline to help demonstrate the usefulness of the two in assisting you, the author in writing a novel with much less effort and on a timely basis.