Download Book Outline Template

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Organization is critical when you’re dealing with the amount of text that goes into a book. By using a book outline template, you can start writing with a clearer structure and clearer ideas.

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Book templates can vary widely because the types and subjects of books vary so much and require substantially different structures. So make sure you carefully select or create the right type of template for your book. Following the steps below can be the right place to start for creating any book, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.

Steps to Outlining Your Book

1. Brainstorm

Write a list of everything that you want to discuss in the book, whether they are fictional events or historical ones. It’s best to do this as the ideas come to you, rather than sitting in front of your computer expecting to churn the list out at once.

2. Make Headings

After compiling the list, begin to think about the major points in the narrative you should note. A fictional story could, for example, highlight the first section that establishes the main characters and setting, the second section could go through the introduction and rising of the conflict, and the last section could include the climax and the resolution.

3. Organize List

Now you can place all of your list items under the appropriate headings. For example, in a book about urban warfare in WWII, you can organize specific weapons and tactics according to when and where they were used, so that you cover the unique types of fighting along the Western front, the Eastern front, Italy, and North Africa. Or organizing this type of information by time period might make more sense.

4. Test Your Organization

To rethink and perfect your outline, try organizing it in a different way from the first way, and think about whether the series of events is more logical, coherent, or thematically sound that way. You may find that a completely new structure is best, or you may simple find that some events are not relevant to your overall theme or thesis or that they belong elsewhere in the book.

5. Fill It Out

Now that the overall structure is secure, you can divide the major sections into chapters. Then you will be ready to flesh out the finer points.

Feel free to adjust the outline as you work, however. There’s no need to keep it as is if you find a section improperly placed or unneeded. You should also be able to see whether there are gaps in your outline now so you can fill them with a new section or point.

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