Posted By : August 16, 2023
Ghostwriting can be brutal for a beginner because it has a very steep learning curve and for anyone of you who is thinking about getting into ghostwriting, this is a very important blog for you.
In this blog, we are going to talk about something that will drastically improve your effectiveness as a ghostwriter. You can even call it among the finest ghostwriting best practices.
Today we are going to talk about creating an outline in ghostwriting.
Outlining is going to serve as a tool for your entire ghostwriting process and will make it a lot easier for you to create a structure for ghostwriting.
We will talk about effective outline for a ghostwriter and how to perfectly construct a book outline or any kind of outline for the content you are writing.
Before we do that, let us understand what are ghostwriting outlines and why they are important.
In this guide to outlines for ghostwriters, the simplest way to help understand what is an outline is to think of it as a map.
Writing a book can be a daunting challenge where you have to navigate all the chapters and include all the ideas in the perfect way and an outline, therefore, is going to serve as a map.
A ghostwriting outline will provide you with a structured plan and a roadmap so that you can organise your content as well as the themes and everything else in the perfect order.
This is important because a writer can get lost while describing an idea and an outline will help you keep your vision intact when you write.
Before we talk about how to outline as a ghostwriter, we are going to talk about the two kinds of outlines out there.
General ghostwriting outline and detailed ghostwriting outline.
We can give you a detailed definition of this but let us do it in a fun way and let us use the map example once again so that you understand what is a general ghostwriting outline.
If you compare a general ghostwriting outline to a map then it is going to be the map of your whole country. That is exactly what a general ghostwriting outline is and it is a map of the entire book.
This kind of outline for ghostwritten material is not specific and it does not go into the details. It can be considered a very broad way of outlining where it provides a simple overview of the entire content and its structure.
If we bring back the example of the map then this is the map of the whole country and not the map of the country with all the individual states and highways and everything a map can contain.
Let us bring back the map example once again because if the general ghostwriting outline is the map of the whole country then a detailed outlining would be the map of the country with all the states.,street names etc.
Detailed ghostwriting outline simply focuses on every area and every section of the book in great depth and detail.
A proper detailed ghostwriting outline should contain everything from the ideas to the topics that come out from those ideas along with all the information required as well as research material.
It should be the perfect tool for you whenever you start writing the manuscript.
While we are going to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of both general outline as well as detailed outline but our opinion is that a detailed outline is a much better outline.
The advantage of a general outline is that you do not need to go through a steep learning curve in order to create a general outline because it is one of the easiest things to do. You simply have to write down your plans about the content and you can be flexible when you create this outline. This also means that you do not need to spend a lot of time creating this outline.
The disadvantage is that you cannot include details which means you are going to miss out on all the topics and ideas along with important information about those ideas. This also means that a general outline will be of little help to you as far as outlines go because of its nature of being a general outline.
Detailed outlines are excellent if you want to condense all your ideas into a simple form that you can look at whenever you are writing. A detailed outline will contain everything including the ideas as well as research material. You can include character details and plot details. Clients love detailed outlines because it helps them understand your plans for the book.
The disadvantage of detailed outlines is that they are very time-consuming and they also require a bit of knowledge and understanding. You must also understand that you cannot be flexible with detailed outlines and you have to be precise about your plans. A detailed outline is also bad for creativity because writers need freedom. If they have a structure in place then there cannot move beyond the structure even if they have great ideas during the actual writing process.
We are still going to favour detailed outlines over general outlines in spite of all the disadvantages of detailed outlines simply because detailed outlines will actually help you in the writing process. Detailed outlines will help you plan your time and meet deadlines properly.
Although we are not going to talk about ghostwriting tips and techniques but we are definitely going to talk more about detailed outlines and all the advantages of a detailed outline.
Ghostwriting is time sensitive and you need to meet deadlines if you want to become a successful ghostwriter.
You will have everything in front of you so that you can get down to writing the content whether it is academic writing or whether it is a traditional novel or even web content.
Your roadmap or the detailed outline will let you not waste time so that you can pen down your ideas more effectively and every ghostwriter knows that time is money because you only have limited time.
Maintaining proper communication with the client is a necessity in the ghostwriting industry and you must always remember to keep the client in the loop whenever you take creative decisions.
That is why when you have a detailed outline you can make sure to send it to the client so that they can make necessary changes.
It is also going to be peace of mind for the client because they already know what you are going to write about as they have the detailed outline so they will feel more confident in your work.
They will not have to talk to you throughout the project and they can just do regular reviews of the work.
If you go and ask any writer what is the biggest challenge to write then they are going to tell you it is motivation.
Motivation is a big factor because if you think about it, every writing will seem like an impossible challenge when you start it.
It will be like looking at a hill and then looking at the long set of steps that is before you and you will have to walk it.
But if you have a plan already with proper structure then you know what are the challenges you are going to face and you know how to face them.
When you have a detailed outline in place you are always going to be able to visualize the big picture.
You will be able to see the entire journey without even starting it and you can then manage your time better and organise everything in a more effective way.
Writing something as diverse and big and complicated as a novel is very challenging but if you already know the chapters and what each chapter will contain then it will be a lot easier.
This is a very important point but it is even more relevant when you are writing nonfiction because when you write nonfiction, you must include a lot of information.
For example, if you are doing finance ghostwriting then you need to deal with a lot of data and a lot of numbers. If you have an outline in place then you are not going to miss out on any ideas and data.
It is very easy to lose track of a few ideas here and there if you keep the outline in your mind but if you have a concrete outline laid out in front of you then you will never make that mistake.
A writer is judged on several parameters and one of the parameters is definitely their flow of ideas. There is no point in writing a book with several chapters if the chapters seem like they are different from each other.
Maintaining a flow of your ideas and having good continuity between chapters and ideas is important for every kind of but especially fiction.
This might same like a challenge if you do not have any outline to look at because you can get lost in all the ideas especially if you do not write the chapters sequentially.
But if you have an outline this is never a challenge as you can maintain the same flow and the same pace throughout the work.
Homogeneity is a challenge no matter the art form because if you have a chapter that is extremely good and a chapter that is not even average then it can be a disaster for the work.
That is exactly what happens when you do not have a detailed outline because you might condense some of the best ideas into a single area and you might leave the other areas dry.
But if you have a detailed outline, you can make sure to scatter the ideas and ensure balance throughout the topics and sub-topics. This is also important when you are writing nonfiction because those ideas then become information.
While there are no major disadvantages to having a detailed outline but a detailed outline still has its drawbacks.
The biggest drawback of a detailed outline is that it can consume a lot of time especially if you want to invest that time in meeting your deadlines.
Having a detailed outline can also sometimes restrict creativity especially if you are writing fiction and it creates an environment of a rigid structure.
It is also bad for research because research is something that is sequential and it takes time and gradually takes place but if you condense all the research before starting the work it might lead to bad content.
Sometimes a detailed outline can create impractical expectations for the client because the client might see the detailed outline and create an idea about the work in their mind. A detailed outline is not the complete final content and it is different from the final content.
But if the client sees the detailed outline, then they might be so confident that they will not review the work when it is taking place. This can lead to confusion and misunderstanding.
Let us now look at effective steps for creating the best book outline
If you want to have the perfect outline then you should be wise in topic selection. When we talk about topic selection, we do not mean that you need to choose what you are writing about because that is mostly not in your hands.
What we are saying is that you should choose what you have expertise in which means that you can only create an outline for something you know something about.
This means that when you are creating an outline you should have an outline of that very thing in your mind because the outline has to start somewhere.
That is why if you are unable to select your topic and if you have been given a topic by the client then you should do as much research as possible about the topic.
You should read everything anyone has written on it and you should understand all the technicalities of the topic which is especially the case if you are writing nonfiction.
If you have a grasp on the topic then you will be able to come up with an outline because this is just like a traveller understanding how to read maps if they want to plan that journey.
When we talk about outlining for ghostwriting we are talking about a process that will make it much easier for you to write in the future when you are actually writing the content.
That is why in order to do that you need to come up with ideas and you must scatter those ideas uniformly in the outline that you are creating.
Idea generation is sequential and it cannot just happen all at once. That is why you can take as much time as possible when you are outlining because it is the final plan.
You can take into consideration the fact that you need to have central ideas and then those ideas are going to have branches and then sub-branches.
If you start creating a random list of ideas with no relation to each other then it is going to be very much difficult for you to generate meaningful content from it.
But if you create a tree of ideas and gradually generate them from top to bottom then you will have linkages within ideas and they will all be in balance.
This will finally reflect on your work and you can have a much easier time when you are actually writing the content.
When you have finally done all the steps that we have mentioned before, you are going to get a complete framework or skeleton of your book.
Your outline can be considered complete at this point but that does not mean it is the best because you need to do a lot of things in order to make it the perfect outline.
What you have in your hands is a skeleton with a lot of deficits which is alright but not the best form and it is still not information dense.
That is why you must fill those voids with information and details and you can add different links to research papers and different research materials so that you can look them up when you are writing the manuscript.
You can add any kind of details that you want and these details do not have to be the final iteration that will go into the book but they should be just enough so that you can remember the ideas perfectly.
You must understand that an outline is not a table of contents that needs to be perfect as an outline is just a tool that will help you with the best guidance when you write.
One of the mistakes ghostwriters make is that they create a detailed outline but they forget to review it.
You should never make the mistake of leaving an unedited outline just like that.
Everything needs editing from the manuscript to the outline and that is why you must go through the entire outline after you have completed it and go through it line by line in order to make sure that everything is in place.
An outline is there to guide you and that is why it has to be perfect.
If you work for an agency then you need to make sure that your colleagues take a look at the outline. You should get all the feedback in the world and that also includes the feedback of the client.
The key to proper outlining is patience because if you invest time in outlining then you are going to save a lot of time when you are actually writing the content and your content is going to be a lot denser in quality.
We hope this blog has been worth your time when it comes to outlines. If you are a new ghostwriter then you should definitely try out outlines because it will become a very healthy habit and an inseparable part of your ghostwriting process.
However, we would suggest you to not learn outlining from scratch if you are just planning on using outlines to write content for your website. It is not worth the time because ghostwriting is as difficult as it is and learning how to master outlines can be an even bigger challenge.
You might compromise on the quality of your content if you try to emulate a professional ghostwriter for writing content for your business. And that is why we have the perfect solution for you if you are looking for the finest ghostwriting name in India.
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