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How to Use a Book Outline

We're back with another entry on our quest to answer the most asked questions related to publishing. We've answered the big questions; how to write a book, will writing a book make you rich, and is writing a book worth it. Getting started on the right foot is important and understanding how to use a book outline can make or break your writing experience. Let's dig in.


A book outline is a roadmap that guides you through the process of writing your book. It helps you organize your thoughts, plan your content and structure your story, regardless of genre.


Here's our Top 5 tips for using your book outline.


Once you have a general idea of what your book will be about, what you want to say, and where you want to lead your readers:

  1. Brain Dump all the ideas that relate to your general idea. There are no right or wrong ideas here and this brain dump does not require any structure. Just get the ideas out of your head and onto paper or a digital document.

  2. Organize your thoughts from the brain dump into smaller sections. This can include chapters, acts, or parts. Each of these sections should have a clear purpose and contribute to the overall story or message.

  3. Create a list of main points or events within each section that need to be covered. These are the building blocks of your book, and they should be organized in an order that makes sense within the larger structure of your book.

  4. Add detail to each main point. This can include specific scenes, characters, dialogue, and descriptions. Review your outline and make sure it flows logically and that the sections and points are in the right order.

  5. Be flexible. Use your outline as a guide while writing your book, but stay open minded. Sometimes as you're writing, new ideas may come up and you may need to adjust your outline accordingly.

Keep your outline handy during the editing and revising process. Use it to check that your book stays on track, and that all the necessary information is included.


Remember, there is no one "right" way to outline a book, and different methods work for different writers. You may need to experiment with different methods to find what works best for you.

If you'd like some help creating, refining, and using the outline for your book, check out our check out our Manuscript Writing Master Course or Schedule a Discovery Session to chat with us.

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