Last week, I was working on an outline for a project I’m doing for Red Line. This is my first job for them so I wasn’t sure how much detail to include. I knew I needed the chapter titles and the broad points of each chapter. But what about the supporting points and the sidebars? By the time I worked it all in, my chapter outline was about a page long.
Then the editor sent out a sample. Seriously? This was it?
- Chapter title.
- Main points.
Some of the mainpoints and sidebars were two lines long but most of them were one.
While some of you might have been frustrated by this (oh, the wasted time!), I was elated. I had been working in way too much detail. This was so much easier. I could do this easy-peasy.
Every time I’ve had to make an outline for a project, I come back to the KISS principle. Keep it short and simple. The outline is something that an editor wants to be able to quickly skim. Skim not read. This may take some practice to do without yet another reminder.