So, we have our characters, our conflict, our general plot. Now for the stuff that ties it all together: events. Think of several big things that are going to happen in your novel. Maybe your main character gets kidnapped. Maybe they kidnap someone else. Maybe they go to the moon and realize they forgot to bring enough oxygen to get home (does it even work like that?). Just make a list of the things that you think should happen in your book.
Got the list? Good. Now, number them (or put them on separate note cards or whatever works for you). Try to organize them into a path that goes from inciting incident, to roadblocks, to climax, to resolution (and everything in between, of course). Don’t worry about a detailed outline. Don’t worry about having everything perfectly worked out. Just give yourself some guidelines for when we finally get to write this thing!
To clarify what I mean, I’ll share a bit. Some of my plot stepping-stones are: a girl takes a name, the secret message, enemy in the camp, mother’s passing. Get the idea?
Of course, if you want to outline a little more fully, do it! I like plot paths because when I try to outline, I feel like I never have enough details, or the right details. And then I feel constricted to only write what I have outlined. Plot paths give me more freedom, which in turn helps me write more.
Next time: The Medium