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Universal Story Outline

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:50 pm
by Forever Zero
Alright, I have this epic I've been working on for over 3 years now, and I still can't decide which format I want to present it in; and when it really comes down to it, I'm going to present it in the form that I have a chance to present it in. I'll take whatever comes my way at this point.

So with that in mind, I'm trying to figure out a way to outline everything in my story, and having difficulty doing so due to how it's set up. I will be starting with Episode V, out of a total of six episodes. So naturally I have 4 full episodes, each their own story, providing backstory for Episode V. So it's really hard to outline when I get to a point and need to throw in "This is due to blah blah in Episode [Number], etc." Especially when I introduce a new character that isn't supposed to be revealed yet. A lot of characters make an appearance early on as mysterious figures, and later it is revealed who they are. So as far as an outline goes, I want to refer to every character as who they truly are, even if they're not supposed to be revealed yet, and I'm not sure if I should go into character descriptions as soon as they're introduced, or at the point in the story when they are revealed.

Also, theres certain points early in the story where I have a few events decided, but I'm very, very foggy about how they should progress, and it's been bugging me because it's been over a year, and I still can't decide what to do with these scenes. I am very artistically oriented, so if I don't have a 100% vision of how a scene should go, I'm not satisfied with it -- I will not accept leaving it to the audience's imagination, because then I'll never know if they see my vision the way I see it. For that reason this will probably never be a written work.

Should I outline this story chronologically, or in terms of how the story progresses? I want to include everything in the outline, even stuff that the audience isn't supposed to see. And even in Episode V, there are many events that occur before the actual telling of the story begins, so I was thinking about doing it chronologically... but there's just so many character's and events, its hard to organize.

Any advice on this is greatly appreciated, this epic is my life's work and I want it to be perfect, or as perfect as I can make it.

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:08 am
by tiriel
Leave the chronological format to the actually story. Explain the intertwining story lines separately, then explain how they fit together. This way the reader will get a more "flash card" pop-bang explanation rather than a summary that he's constantly trying to piece together in his head. :wink:

Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:55 pm
by dragon13writer
might I suggest you get a copy of Tolkiens Silmarillion. I think it might help but I haven't read all the way through fellowship yet nor have I read any of the other Lord books or much of silmarillion yet so I could be totally wrong about suggesting you see how the other fellow did it. It doesn't work with my husband when it comes to woodwork.

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:40 pm
by aldan
Really, the Silmarillion could almost be considered a single book of novellas set in the LotR universe, but take place at the time when the Rings were first created, and goes through the results of that creation.

I'd suggest that it be checked out, also, by any fan of the trilogy, as it's a wonderful prequel to that series and explains so much about just how much thought and time in building his universe JRR Tolkein really put into that trilogy!

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:31 pm
by Ariel
Good luck to you. Hope it comes out the way you'd like it to. :flower: Keep us posted!