Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Outlining with the Document Map
Following an outline is like following a path with twists and turns to the end of a story. Most of my outlines were done with pencil and paper first, then typed in boxes on the computer, printed out, and bound in a three ring binder. As I worked my way through the story, I flipped pages in the binder, making notes. It worked for me but it was also time consuming.
I've been using Word for years and had no idea how to use the document map or why I would want to. Then on Verla Kay, Helene Boudreau, discussed using it to outline her novels. She also gave a snap of what it looks like. I decided to give it a try so I pulled out an old manuscript that needed a lot of revision. I figured if I messed it up, I wouldn't be that upset. After hours of "playing" with this feature, I finally made it work. What a difference!
It lets me move from one chapter to the other with one click. I can make little notes so I know with a quick look where a certain plot point or character first appears. I had no idea this little feature could be such a treasure!
The idea of using it to outline my new project is exciting. Thank you, Helene Boudreau!
Here's the link to her blog where she explains using the Document Map: