The 10,000 Word Novel Outline

What started as just a couple blog posts, is now a whole page on its own. This is what I've done to outline my novels beginning in April 2011. It's worked for me so far. I edit it, but the basic structure remains.
It's titled the way it is, because my goal is to have a 10,000 word outline. It can really be however long you want it to be. Call it the 100,000 word outline for all I care. You just have to write more. It depends on the size of your world, the ideal length of your novel, the amount of characters, and a bunch of other things.
 The 10,000 Word Novel Outline
  • 1 sentence description (must be 20 words or less) and motivation for every character ever mentioned
  • physical description for every character mentioned
  • names for every character
  • paragraph descriptions for characters that affect the plot in a large way
  • Meyers-Briggs personality: Here are a links to a test if you don't know what the types are: Test 1 I just figure out the letters.
  • "Note Card" - I'll make a post of what this is later this month.
  • Family Relations
  • list (and organize by city in my case) every place that shows up in plot (I wrote scene list first...)
  • 1 sentence description of setting (20 words or less)
  • 5 senses list for each setting
  • A Note On Setting Outlining: This is what I would have liked to do as I began planning the settings of the story. However, I ended up just listing and organizing all the places, then just describing the place. The more specific the place, the more I wrote.
List every scene that will happen in the novel:
  • side notes of what is happening in other parts of the world if important to know
  • characters involved in each scene
  • place the scene takes place
  • 1 sentence description of the scene (still 20 words or less)
  • notes of quotes, descriptions, etc. that should be included in the scene
  • divide into chapters if you want
So that's the basic idea of the outline. What's nice is that it doesn't have to be done in order necessarily. You can list all the scenes first and then create characters or do the physical descriptions before the character motivations.
If I draw a blank, I usually just highlight the piece that needs to be detailed more in the document and I'll come back to it later.