A Sample Outline

This is a sample of one of my outlines. This is what I am currently working from for In the Name of Duty. I am sharing it here so that anyone wondering, WHAT IS SHE DOING will have an idea. lol


1  Battle

2 Meet Georgiana

3 Robert gets home / Tea with Robert, Tom, Richard, Georgiana. Argument.

4 Masters and Georgiana have nice breakfast, interrupted by Robert.  Tension?

5 Richard and the stable.  Horses, Dad, and stories of the coal miners.

6 Georgiana and Robert confrontation over horses, health, the past.

7 Masters becomes the valet.  His own inner tensions.  News of a party?

8 The couple goes out to dinner.  Disagreements.  An awkward meeting.

9 Freezing days and an unwelcome present

10 Richard and his father.  Horse-riding. Honest talk.  Richard wants an adventure  Thomas, too.  Tom and Georgiana as she confides her fears to her friend.

11 Christmas Eve @ Another party.  Men in the neighborhood. Veiled innuendo.  Robert’s eyes are opened.  A meaningful dance.

As I finish each chapter, it helps me to draw lines through it. I feel better. Silly? Undoubtedly. Seriously, these characters are so much a part of my brain at this point, that this is all I will be working with (there are further chapters, but I don’t want to give TOO much away, lol) for the remainder of the novel.

I like organization…but… I don’t like feeling fenced in. For me, this is a perfect outline.


  1. Brian Bennett · June 8, 2011

    I love your outline, very unconstrained and easily re-routed if need be. I have never worked with an outline, but i have never written more than about five or six chapters either so I am guessing if I was working on a novella or something longer this style would suit me. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Sandi · June 9, 2011

      Hey, Brian!

      On the occasions I write something shorter, I don’t use an outline either — everything pretty much stays lined up in my head. lol

      I do let the outline be elastic and/or fluid, for sure. Disciplining my ideas is good, but not stifling them!

      Thanks for reading!

    • Warren C. Bennett · June 11, 2011

      I think my Brother and I write differently as well. I am not sure though – He is becoming quite a creator of prose, however.

  2. Warren C. Bennett · June 9, 2011

    Outlines are not my forte. Short fiction I do not use them at all, longer fiction I do try to have some plan of action. Someday I might actually finish a novel… I didn’t use outlines at all until I started writing screenplays. For some reason it is easier for me to write an outline for a screenplay rather than a novel – not sure why.

    • Warren C. Bennett · June 9, 2011

      Oh and my outlines do not even remotely resemble this. They are usually what would be called “treatments” in the movie industry. A little bit of description on what is going on in the story with a paragraph or two of actual writing.

      • Sandi · June 9, 2011

        LOL How many discussions have we had over the years about growth and the craft of writing, Warren-old-friend? 🙂

        Everyone organizes their brains differently. 🙂 I never wrote outlines for papers in school until after the paper was written. Stories take my longer so…I do. 🙂

      • Warren C. Bennett · June 11, 2011

        I did the same thing in school. I hated that I had to have an outline for papers. And yes we have had many conversations! But people that read this might know that 😛 heh.

  3. Brian Bennett · June 9, 2011

    I posted a link to this on my Gather Writing Essentials group, as part of my Wednesday prompt, hope you don’t mind?

  4. Brian Bennett · June 9, 2011

    I used a link to this in my Wednesday Writing Essentials group on Gather. I hope you don’t mind?

    • Sandi · June 9, 2011

      Please, link away. Anything on my blog is there for public amusement or bewilderment or whatever more positive purpose you can ascribe. 🙂 Thank you for thinking of it!

Comments are closed.