In my last post, I discussed the value of Micro-Outlining chapters or scenes in your story to maximize the impact of your characters and narrative. Today, I thought I’d give you the opportunity to try it out for yourself.

#1 – Pick a Chapter from Your WIP Outline

If you’re working on a novel or screenplay, choose a chapter or scene to use for this exercise.  Read over the outline for this one chapter or scene and jot down any ideas that come to you as you do so.

Alternate Exercise: Pick a Short Nursery Rhyme

If you don’t have an outline, pick a short nursery rhyme to use.  There are dozens to pick from that are only a few lines, and you can use that as a starting point for this exercise.

#2 – Break It Down, Beginning to End

Take some time to break the components of the chapter or scene down into greater detail.  Where do we start the chapter; where does it end?  What’s the main conflict between the characters?  What has to be achieved in this chapter that leads into the next one?  How does what happens in this chapter affect the story as a whole?  How does the location impact the story?  

If you’re doing the nursery rhyme exercise, dig deeper into what propels the story from point A to Point B.  Why was Humpty Dumpty up on the wall?  What caused him to fall?  Did he have a conflict with anyone that might have caused his accident?  

With both, explore the possibilities and the nuances that can unfold over the course of the narrative you’re writing.

#3 – Draft It

Now that you’ve applied the Micro-Outlining process, it’s time to write a draft of the chapter or scene.  Does it make writing the draft easier since you know in greater detail what’s happening and where the chapter is going?

Try this technique with other chapters, scenes, or even another nursery rhyme and see how it improves your story’s depth and detail.

Happy Writing, and I’ll see you next time!

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