We know that a compelling protagonist is a necessary medium through which to tell a story. Readers need someone to root for; someone to go on the journey of the novel with. So, now that we’ve got that protagonist, we need to outline the main plot of the story they find themselves in the middle of. A novel-length project is a big undertaking, so how can we make sure everything makes sense? A plot outline is an invaluable resource in ensuring two things: a) there’s actually something happening in your book, and b) the plot follows a logical, engaging flow.
A main plot outline isn’t meant to detail every event of the novel. The main plot outline is meant to detail the three act structure of the main plot. The main plot is the big, over-arching story; the story that takes the entire length of the novel to tell. The main plot is the big, catastrophic, life-changing adventure that your protagonist goes on. So, without further ado, let’s discover what a main plot outline might look like.