Pre-outlining

Posted on Updated on

I’ve been working on my book steadily for the last few weeks.  I’m doing something called pre-outlining, now. Pre-outlining is the step before outlining your story for real.  You build your characters, choose your setting, and find symbolism and your story’s theme.

In K.M Wieland’s book, Outlining your Novel, she suggests taking an enneagram personality test for your protagonist and a few of the other significant characters.

enneagram with words

At first, I thought this was very excessive. I was thinking, “Come on, they’re not even real people!”  But, because her advice is always good, I decided to trust her and take the personality test for my protagonist.  And I’m so happy that I did it!

These are the benefits that I’ve found from taking the personality test for my characters:

  • It helps clarify your character’s complete personality and how they would act or react  in different situations.
  • Shows their biggest flaw and how it affects them and the people that they love.
  • Helps clarify for the author how to make a well-rounded and realistic character.

If I hadn’t taken this test for my characters I would have missed out on all the insight that I gained from it.  I  am learning that it is always good to follow the advice from your writing teacher or how-to write book, even when it seems dumb or unnecessary.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Pre-outlining

    symplysilent said:
    December 14, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Isabelle – This sounds very interesting. I will look for a copy of the book. Is this anything like Myers Briggs personalities? Thanks – Silent

      floweringkeyboard responded:
      December 14, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      Silent – I don’t know if enneagram personality types are similar to the Myers Briggs personalities. K.M Wieland suggested both personality tests in her book, but her personal favorite is the enneagram method, so I chose to take that one. You can buy Outlining Your Novel on Amazon. I hope this helps!

        symplysilent said:
        December 14, 2013 at 11:34 pm

        Thank you – I have been trying to use Myers Briggs on my three main characters in a novel I’m writing (who isn’t). I’ve been using their character traits to keep them straight – because I get confused easily lol. Thanks – Silent

    The Four Temperaments « Flowering Keyboard said:
    February 24, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    […] are secondary temperaments too). This method is my second favorite for characters, next to the enneagram types.  I’m melancholy, and in my current novel, my protagonist is a […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s