Diamond State Romance Authors

An Editing Technique – Reverse Outline

This month I started, finally, editing the manuscript I’ve been working on for the past year.  My editing technique still needs some perfecting, but I’m learning and it really is progressing. This week, reading through my roll of blogs to which I subscribe I ran across a blog about editing. It is written by an editor-now-writer. In it she brought up several areas that should be addressed, but she also presented a way to fix problems. One of the methods of fixing plot issues is  reverse outlining.

Reverse outlining? What in tarnation is that? My brain is thinking I start at the end of the story and work my way to the beginning. Hahahaha.  Not quite.

The principle is simple. Write your story. For each segment/paragraph write a sentence summarizing the gist of what’s going on. When you’re finished the outline will give a concise view of the plot or what is missing. 

I’m sure we have all used this technique or some form of it to establish time lines or fix holes. I’ve used it on a very small-scale in segments of a manuscript to fix things.

To understand it further I followed the links in the blog and read all about it. In my search for more clarification I discovered this little site by Nicole Cushing. She cleverly adapted it to fiction and novels with this handy little outline.

I can’t wait to get to this.  Which is this week.

I’ll let you know how it’s working. If anyone has used this, please let me know. Any additional tips would be appreciated.

Happy editing!