Monday Stretch: Out of Line

If you’ve read Episode 3, you knew this would happen. Let’s practice that dreaded outline.

Purpose: To recognize the utility and functionality of an outline

Setting: Two travelers are stranded in the mountains after they lost their way while taking a “detour.” You can throw in some interesting twists: being stalked by someone or something, one of the travelers isn’t real, etc.

Assignment: Using either a mind map or a basic outline, whip up a practice outline for a short story (or novel for the brave). Be sure to include some biographical information about the characters and the main plot points. Try to envision what’s happening as you plot the story.


  1. Did the outline help you “tease out” more interesting events from the story?
  2. Can you think of other ways that you could develop the story before you start writing it?

Bonus credit: Using your outline, write the story. How close was your story to the original outline? Did you have to make changes as you went?


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