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5 crucial aspects for outlining any story

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Outlining your story is like being a tour guide in a bustling city. You must know the main attractions, understand the twists and turns of the streets, and have a few hidden gems to keep things interesting. But what makes a good story outline? Buckle up, folks. We're about to embark on a whirlwind tour of the five crucial aspects of outlining any story.

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1. Characters – the heart of your story

Think of your characters as the locals in our city tour metaphor. They're the ones who give the city its flavour, its charm, its uniqueness. When outlining, you need to know your characters intimately – their dreams, their fears, their favourite breakfast cereal. A well-rounded character can propel your story in ways that plot alone can't. Remember, no one would care about Romeo and Juliet if they weren't, well, Romeo and Juliet.

2. Plot – the journey through your story

The plot is the path your tour takes. It's the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, the Big Ben of your story. It's what your readers have come to see. Your outline should delineate the main events, the twists and turns, and the climaxes of your story. A well-structured plot is like a well-planned tour – it keeps the tourists (or, in this case, readers) engaged and eager for more.

3. Conflict – the spice of your story

What's a city tour without a bit of drama? A protest blocking the road, a surprise parade, a sudden downpour. Conflict is the spice that adds flavour to your story. It drives the plot, motivates the characters, and keeps the readers on the edge of their seats. When outlining, identify the central conflict and any sub-conflicts, and plan how they will be resolved (or not).

4. Setting – the backdrop of your story

The setting is the city itself – the cobblestone streets, the towering skyscrapers, the quaint little cafes. It's the backdrop against which your story unfolds. Your outline should include key details about the setting, such as the time period, the location, and any unique cultural aspects. A well-described setting can transport your readers and make your story come alive.

5. Theme – the soul of your story

Finally, we come to the theme – the underlying message, the moral of the story, the soul of the city. The theme is what your story is really about, beyond the plot and the characters. It's what stays with the readers long after they've finished the book. When outlining, consider what message you want to convey and how it will be reflected in the plot and the characters.

And so, our tour concludes...

And there you have it, fellow globetrotters of the literary world. These five aspects – characters, plot, conflict, setting, and theme – are the cornerstones of any good outline. Armed with this knowledge, you're ready to embark on your own journey of outlining a story. Happy travels!