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Writing a book – creating a book outline

Writing a book  – Creating a book outline

Need to get your writing organised?  A book outline is a must

In simple terms a book outline is the big picture, the plan you do before you get down to the detail of what each chapter is about.

Outline and Flow

To connect the dots we use the outline planner which enables you to “feel the flow” of the books plot and story and helps you to think of what the purpose of each chapter is.

Here’s what I do:-

  • Get a big sheet of paper or a blank wall, lots of post it’s and brainstorm
  • Move your post its around until it looks and feels right, if you need to talk it through with anyone now is a good time, then
  • Write each chapter title on a separate piece of paper.
  • Lay these on the floor in order and walk (physically) through the flow of the book, stopping at each chapter and getting a feel for the plot, try to feel, hear and see what your intended reader will.  Check that it makes sense, that it follows the plot line.
  • On the second time along the chapter outline timeline, use post it notes and brainstorm ideas
  • Once you get an idea of what each chapter is about.  Work out how each chapter links to the next one.

You now have the essence and a big picture of your book.

Your action plan – creating a book outline

  • Create your chapter outline
  • Reflect for a day or two
  • Amend
  • Write a summary of what that chapter is about
  • Write your action plan for completing each chapter
  • Update your book proposal (when you are happy with your ideas and content – you may of course change them again…)

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

When we work together one to one, your book outline will be nailed before you start to write, after which writing is so much easier.


Grab your free how to write a non-fiction book and book planner here


All good books start with an idea and come to fruition with a plan.

Subscribe to get your plan and E-book How to write a non-fiction book and start writing the right book, right now.

You will receive your e-book and an Excel spreadsheet with all of the steps on for you to use and update as you go along.

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Jacqui Malpass

Personal Brand Strategist & Book Coach, Jacqui Malpass helps you to find the right story and inspirational message to share. Together we turn your words into books that inspire others.. Personal Brand Strategist | Author | Write your book | Blog your book | Turn your book into a course

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