The Pants Come Off! (Beginning your outline)

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What? I’m excited!

FINALLY!!! Once you know your MC’s flaw (or not) the outline should start coming together with relative ease. Just a reminder, a story is the telling of your characters journey from points A to B. It is now time to write/type ideas for future use in this or another story. It is officially time to TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS.

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Nope. Not needed.

**No, I do not want, nor need, photographic evidence that you took off your pants. Thanks, but no.**

That thought alone has caused me to top off my cuppa of coffee with a dash or eight of Kahlua. ‘tis the benefits of working from home. Pjs and a cuppa whatever I want. So, my nibbles today are…pita chips and hummus, cuz I can, and yum. I have my copy of Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker on my desk. I am ready when you are. Remember, because I have the ebook version I am unable to tell you what page we are on. The title of this post is the title of the ‘chapter’ we are working on. If it helps at all, we are currently 32% of the way through.

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And so the Outline begins.

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Chicken- pecking is my go to typing method.

Ready? Here it is. First write/type a 1. Next to it, your characters name and any important details that may impact their movement through your story. Below this, number your lines from 2-5. Skip a line and write/type “FLAW”- then…write what that is. If you have yet to decide what the flaw is you can keep going and revisit that later. Or, if you have many ideas of what the flaw could be, write them all down. You can always revisit and remove the ones that don’t fit your core story.

You should have this.

  1. MC- who they are in general.

FLAW- Your MC is less than perfect because…

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CUTE! I want a bookmark like this.
  • Bookmark this page as you may want to come back to it as you are creating your outline, if you aren’t doing it now.

If you have your flaw in mind for your character, you can basically draw out the events that will be needed to get to the end of their story. To do this with ease, focus on the opposite of what the flaw is. Find ways to put your character in the places they need to be to experience the opposite of their flaw. What must they learn to move from A to B? Create ideas for hard lessons and stumbling blocks along the way. It can’t be a straight shot from one point to the other. You need U-turns, roadblocks, and flat tires before the journey ends.

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Diabolical or nice…hmmmm?

You can also have more than one MC. My new story currently has 3. Create a plan for each. Have them intersect at points. Have them help or hinder one another’s advancement towards their personal end.

LINE 5: is your Story Core. It is the ending of your story. This is where you detail the success or failure of your MC/s.

LINE 2: this is the external goal. It is the carrot you dangle in front of their face to keep them going. (True love, money, success, skills…) It is what propels the story forward so inner goals can be recognized and hopefully, realized.

Your outline should look like this now.

  1. MC- who they are.
  2. External Goal

FLAW- why they aren’t perfect.

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Ta-da! We are nearly there. More next time.

Stay tuned.

Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.

Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.

I’m always looking for new friends!

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Author: Ticia Rani

I am...interesting. I am a writer, dreamer, mom, wife, veteran, friend, villain, and the wearer of many hats, but I don't look good in hats- go figure. I LOVE TO WRITE. I want to tell stories. I want to make you laugh, cry, and scare the crap out of you, and make you ask "why the hell did you do that?" I want to make you cheer my characters on or want to shake the crap out of them for things they say and/or do. I want to bring you along for the ride. Ready? Set?...READ!!!

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