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How to Write a Book Outline in Just a Few Minutes

By Edited Jun 17, 2016 1 4

Are you ready to write your Best Seller but are unsure where to start? Are you spending more time day-dreaming about being a guest on Oprah than you are writing?

While the day dreaming will get you far by projecting your desires into the universe, the saying goes: writers write. This means that as long as no words go on the page, your possibilities of making your dreams become reality are nil.

Why aren't you writing more? Why does what you write not come out the way you imagined? The answer to these questions may surprise you. The answer is that you don't have the right tool for the job.

What is the right tool? Assuming that your writing skills are fair to fantastic, the tool your looking for is called an outline.

Every successful writer uses one. Embrace the use of outlines for all your projects. All prolific Writers know that you need a road map to go somewhere you've never been before, unless of course you want to get lost.

Certainly, if you had a uncomplicated outline you'd be doing more writing than dreaming. With these easy steps you'll have your complete book outline in place in just minutes.

Things You Will Need

A few minutes

Step 1

First, Lets break it down. Lets say, for the sake of this article, that the average book is 200 pages in length. This translates to 20 Chapters, at an average rate of 10 pages per Chapter. Can you see where I'm going with this? Before you start writing chapter headings, move on to Step 2.

Step 2

Thinking Woman
Next, make a list of 2O main Subjects you want to discuss in your book. Use no more than 3 Words for each Subject.
Such as: 4. When Cats Bite.
This will be what each Chapter is about. You can worry about impressive titles and names later.

Step 3

Now, next to the first list, under each subject, make another list of the 5-10 important things (list words only please) that you want to mention about each Subject/Chapter.
Such as, 4. When Children Bite
a. Hormones
b. Breed
c. Discipline, etc.

Step 4

Now, switch these around in order of importance. Put the best stuff that you are most passionate about first, the not so great stuff in the middle and the medium-good stuff last

Step 5

This goes for the entire 20 Chapters of your book too, take a moment now to resort the overall flow of Chapters into this Best, Not the Best, Good order as well. This will get your readers hooked from the first page enough to coast through the middle and keep reading when they find it picking up 2/3 through the book.
Viola! Your outline is done and there is nothing standing in your way from writing that book. You have a complete and clear outline to make it happen. You now know fully well what goes on each page from beginning to end. Do this for all your books from now on.
Congratulations. See you on Oprah.

Tips & Warnings

Don't try to write your book without finishing the outline; it will only frustrate you more and put more time between you and the fulfillment of your dreams.


Dec 20, 2009 10:27pm
This is a great way to get an outline organized. Thanks for sharing. It will make writing so much easier.
Nov 9, 2010 11:55pm
Great tips
Feb 26, 2012 12:16pm
Feb 28, 2012 11:50am
This is great guide for getting started writing an e-book. The best advice was the last sentence. An outline is very important!
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