When I last blogged about my outlining process, I seem to remember that someone, somewhere, commented with the suggestion to share photos of what my outline looks like after I’ve finished tearing it to pieces.  (This after spending a couple of weeks slaving away at creating the outline.)

I thought today I’d share some photos of the process.

This is the outside cover.  I like to put a cardstock cover on top of everything, usually in a fun color, so that it seems somewhat official.  The font here doesn’t really fit the book, but it was the best I could do in my word processor.  (Photoshop had a better font.)

My other best friends for outlining are present here as well: highlighters and a pen.

Here’s my handy-dandy little key that I created for my highlighter colors.  With the Oracles Promise outline I wasn’t this smart.  The cover was green cardstock.  I didn’t tape in the white piece of paper to put the key on so the colors of the highlighters looked really funky.

6 colors, 6 categories:

History to move elsewhere (blue)
Mythology to move elsewhere (yellow)
Scene/chapter to reconsider (orange)
Hinted at/foreshadowed to be developed further (pink)
Event to move elsewhere (purple)
Character development to move elsewhere (green)

Then I go through the outline, page by page and scene by scene.  I read back through the characters, events, and locations looking for what can be condensed, eliminated, or expanded.  Elimination warrants a big old pen slash through the entire thing.  If there’s an event or some other little thing from the scene that I need to salvage, it gets a reprieve from the pen of doom and dons the appropriately colored highlighter mark.

It doesn’t show too well in this photo but almost every scene has been cut from this section.  (And this is only pages 2 and 3 of the outline.)  You can just make out, too, the little orange highlighter mark where I’ve labeled one scene out of the chapter for reconsideration.  Eventually, the entire outline will be a colorful mix of my six highlighters and pen slashes.

I hope that this helped with any lingering questions y’all may have had after the last post.  If you have any other questions go ahead and ask.  I’ll try to address them in the comments but I’ll be more than happy to do a follow-up post if it’s warranted.