11. Blocking a rough outline

Before actually getting down to your first draft, it can be very valuable to prepare a rough outline.

This blocks out the scene from beginning to end, including where any important plot points come up, and roughly what people say, where they’re standing (or sitting or lying), gestures and important points regarding the location.

It should not be written in a prose form, and don’t worry about how rough and riddled with repetitive phrases or clichés it is, we’ll tidy all that up in our drafts.

At this point, keep referring to your notes on characters, locations and plot points to make sure everything is woven in, however bluntly.

Read about out lining a novel or  blocking in more detail here.

Or read about the principles behind our novel writing software (which incorporates a step by step guide to writing a novel).

Goodness, I'm exhausted just writing about it - you've done so well to get this far. Now it's time to get really stuck in. That's right. It's time for step 12 - to write your first draft.