Your Book’s Outline: Create Clarity with a Solid Outline
Why use an outline for your book? You’ll avoid going off on tangents or adding in extra topics that do not truly relate to the main premise of your book. Your readers are expecting certain information based on your title, so it’s time to deliver that info in a concise, easy-to-understand manner. Let’s discuss writing your book’s outline.
Creating an outline first — and then following it — will allow you to write more quickly because you already know what topics to include. You are committing to writing the best manuscript you can, and completing it in a timely manner.
Write an outline that puts your ideas into a logical, teachable flow. Jumping back and forth between topics will only confuse your reader so keep them foremost in your mind.
What is the easiest way to explain your ideas? Consider ending each chapter with a case study or other anecdote so readers will come to recognize that a new chapter will begin soon.
Create punchy, memorable chapter titles, much in the same way you created your book title in the beginning of your book writing process. Throw in some of your personality or sense of humor. It’s all about keeping your readers engaged so be creative.
A thorough outline will show you which content you can eliminate and where you’ve got holes in your existing content. The outline should make sense to you, as the author and teacher, but get some outside feedback from a trusted friend or business associate about whether the outline makes sense or if it needs to be edited. Maybe rearranging some chapters is all that is needed to improve the flow. Maybe you realize that one of the chapters needs to be fine-tuned or eliminated altogether. It’s much easier now to edit your chapters than to do so after you have added content.
Once you are happy with your final chapter outline, consider those special pages found in most books. The dedication, preface, foreword, and introduction are all in the front of the book before the first chapter begins. The index, about the author, book club questions, and acknowledgements are all found at the end of the book. Add these pages to your outline so they’re not overlooked.