Why and How to Outline Your Book

There are many ways to write a book. You can wing it. You can sit down at your computer and just start writing. Many people take that approach. In the world of fiction writing they’re called “pantsters” because they write by the seat of their pants.

However, there are other types of writers too. They are called plotters. They essentially plan their book before they write it. Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, there are many benefits to outlining and planning your book before you write it.

The Benefits of Outlining

There are some reasons beyond simple writing personality style to outline your book. They are profound and abundant. In fact, they are compelling enough to consider changing how you write.

* You write faster. If you’re working from an outline, you’ll write your actual book much faster. In fact, don’t be surprised if you finish your book in just a few weeks or a month.

* Fewer revisions. The outline helps you stay on topic. You won’t have to spend time on multiple revisions. When you work from your outline and your book plan, you’ll simply have to edit for spelling, clarity, and grammar. You won’t have to re-work or re-organize your book, because that’s already been done.

* It’s easier. Sometimes it’s easier to make sure that you cover all of the topics you want to cover when you have an outline. You can make sure that your book is well thought out and is positioned to help your prospects solve their goals and you to sell more books.

How to Outline

You probably already know how to outline, at least the basics. However, when it comes to writing books there are a few different approaches or considerations. One solid approach that can really help you create a stellar book is to outline based on a chapter topic, the headlines for each chapter, and the subhead lines.

Another option is to outline with the same topic, headlines and subheadings but to format them as questions. For example, if your topic is “Drinking more water,” then your question would be “What are the benefits of drinking more water?” “How do I drink more water?” “What are the risks of drinking more water?” and so on. As you can see, answering the questions then becomes quick and easy.

Using this question outline method, you can write a chapter a day. You can even dictate your book, hire someone to clean it up, and have a full book in just a few weeks.

Writing a book can take time. In fact, some people take years to write their book. However, the more books you write, the more you sell, and the more money you’ll make. It makes sense to make the book writing process as efficient and effective as possible, and outlining your book makes it easier.