There are many things to include in a novel outline. Some writers don’t outline at all and some only outline a little bit. However, there are certain elements to include in your novel outline in order to have a thorough one.
There are five elements that go into writing a novel. Some of these elements should be included in your novel outline as a base. You can do this before you start writing and then add in all the filler and details later.
This is the big idea of the whole novel. What’s the plot? Why is it important? What’s the protagonist’s objective? What’s the antagonist’s or villain’s objective? Conflict? There’s a lot that goes into the basic plot. All you need are some ideas for why this story needs to be told. Why will readers want to pick it up and keep reading?
Jot down a bare list of characters and get to know them a little bit. List the main character, the bad guys, secondary and minor characters, sidekicks, and everyone in between. Some characters may not exist yet, but it’s nice to have a list to keep track of names and physical descriptions.
Where does your novel take place? Where are your characters from? What are some locations your characters may visit throughout the events of the novel?
There are a lot more that should go into your novel. Major and minor plot points, scene ideas, and a lot more. However, these three elements are the basic gist of your novel. Once you figure this out, writing should – hopefully – be smooth sailing.