Strengthen Your Story with a Revision Outline

How to create a diagnostic outline that reveals both your external plot and your internal character arc and helps you with the big-picture assessment of your work-in-progress novel or memoir. (This course is included free with your membership in the Writing Craft Club.)
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The Problem

You're finished with a draft of your long-form story, be it a novel or a memoir. It's a lot of words. Maybe 60,000? Maybe 130,00? Now what?

How do you assess something that long?

How do you wrap your head around the whole story?

And how can you improve it through that assessment? 

The Solution

An after-draft outline might be the way to go. Such a document allows you to collapse the whole story into something you can see in front of you. 

But not all outlines are created equal. Some still leave large gaps in your view of the story, doing little to illuminate cause/effect or character development. 

Enter the Inside Outline. 

Why the Inside Outline?

The Inside Outline addresses two crucial story elements that other outlines sometimes neglect:


As George Saunders says, "A story is a system for the transfer of energy. Energy made in the early pages gets transferred along through the story, passed from section to section, like a bucket of water headed for a fire, and the hope is that not a drop gets lost."

Causality is what creates that transfer of energy, and it's crucial for the story's momentum and thus the reader's engagement. 

Character Arc

A lot of writers obsess over plot when they should really be spending more time concerned about the character arc of their protagonist(s). 

A character arc = how the events of the story move a character within it. 

Plot may hook us, but character arc is what really moves us. 

What We'll Cover



What should you be looking for in summarizing scenes and chapters?  

The Inside Outline

What is the Inside Outline and how can you create one for your story? 

Character Arc

What is a character arc and how does it influence what you include in the outline?


What does an editor see in looking at an Inside Outline and how can you use one to diagnose your story? 
Meet the instructor

TD Storm

TD Storm is an award-winning writer and teacher whose stories have appeared in a number of journals. His passion for storytelling and its inner workings inform his teaching, editing, and mentoring. He has worked with countless writers on personal essays, novels, short stories, and more. And he's been teaching since 1999.

Want to know more about TD Storm? Check out the About page for the school.

Want to know more about his approach toward writing and teaching writing? Look at this post on the "Core Tenets of Storm Writing School."

Patrick Jones - Course author

Master the outline that will help you wrangle your story.

(This course is included free with your membership in the Writing Craft Club.)
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