Exploratory Writing Techniques Series - Part 5: Outlining


The fifth and final entry of this series is for writers who would prefer to use a basic outline for exploratory writing.

Outlining shares these similarities to previous entries of this series:

Free Writing, Journalists' Questions, and Mind Mapping - Involves 30 minutes to an hour to write.

Mind Mapping - Objective is to organize elements of your story.

Free Writing and Journalists' Questions - Any medium can be used to implement it.

Outlining differs from Free Writing, Journalists' Questions, Mind Mapping, and Listing, because it requires using this format:


  • Introduce protagonist

  • Establish time period and setting

  • Lead up to events that will alter the life of your protagonist


  • Life-altering events

  • Development of your protagonist

  • Lead up to events that will conclude your story


  • Events that conclude your story (make sure to describe protagonist's new life)

By creating an outline, you are making references to your story available, ensuring that your protagonist is a fully developed character and the events that occur in your story only serve to move it forward.

Next week, I will blog about why writing is relevant.