What is a services proposal template?
A services proposal template is a document used to present a marketing strategy to a potential client. It includes information about the work that has been done in the past, as well as an initial analysis of how the company can support the client and provide value to their brand. The template serves as a guide to differentiate the client's message and achieve their goals. It is an important tool for consultants or agencies to showcase their marketing capabilities and demonstrate how they can be of benefit to the client. The services proposal template sets the framework for the proposal and helps the client understand the steps of the proposed strategy.
What is Story Outline
A story outline is a plan that outlines the key elements of a story, such as the characters, plot, setting, and theme. It helps writers organize their ideas and structure the story in a logical and cohesive way. A story outline can also serve as a reference point for writers as they write the story and make sure that they stay on track and avoid plot holes.
In this article, we will walk you through the process of creating a story outline. Whether you are a professional writer or a beginner, you will find something that fits your needs and skills.
Step 1: Define the Genre and Tone of the Story
Before you start creating the story outline, it is essential to define the genre and tone of the story. The genre is the type of story, such as a romance, a mystery, or a comedy, and it determines the conventions and expectations of the audience. The tone is the mood or atmosphere of the story and the way that it is presented, such as humorous, dark, or suspenseful.
Defining the genre and tone of the story will help you establish the themes, characters, and plot of the story and make sure that they fit the expectations and conventions of the genre.
Step 2: Develop the Characters
Characters are the people or entities that drive the story and interact with each other. They can be real or fictional, and they can be protagonists (the main characters) or antagonists (the characters that oppose the protagonists).
To develop the characters of your story, you can follow these steps:
- Create a character sheet: A character sheet is a document that includes all the relevant information about a character, such as their name, appearance, personality, background, and motivations. You can create a character sheet for each of the main characters of your story.
- Define their roles in the story: Each character should have a specific role in the story, such as the protagonist, the antagonist, the love interest, or the mentor. Define the role of each character and how they contribute to the story.
- Establish their relationships: Characters should have relationships with each other, such as friendship, rivalry, or love. Establish the relationships between the characters and how they affect the story.
Step 3: Develop the Plot
The plot is the sequence of events that make up the story and the conflict that drives it. It should have a clear beginning, middle, and end and should include the rising action, the climax, and the resolution.
To develop the plot of your story, you can follow these steps:
- Identify the inciting incident: The inciting incident is the event that sets the story in motion and introduces the conflict. It should happen in the first act of the story and should be significant enough to engage the reader and make them want to know more.
- Outline the main events: After the inciting incident, the story should follow a series of events that escalate the conflict and move the plot forward. Outline the main events of the story, including the rising action, the climax, and the resolution.
- Establish the stakes: The stakes are the consequences of the conflict and what is at risk for the characters. Establish the stakes of the story and how they motivate the characters and drive the plot.
Step 4: Define the Setting
The setting is the time and place where the story takes place. It can be real or fictional and can have a significant impact on the characters and the plot.
To define the setting of your story, you can follow these steps:
- Determine the time period: The time period can be past, present, or future, and it can affect the technology, culture, and social norms of the story.
- Choose the location: The location can be real or fictional and can have physical, political, and cultural characteristics that influence the story.
- Establish the atmosphere: The atmosphere is the mood or atmosphere of the setting and can be affected by the time period, the location, and the events of the story. Establish the atmosphere of the setting and how it contributes to the tone of the story.
Step 5: Identify the Theme
The theme is the central message or idea that the story explores. It can be a universal concept, such as love, family, or friendship, or a more specific issue, such as discrimination, addiction, or environmentalism.
To identify the theme of your story, you can follow these steps:
- Reflect on the main conflict and the events of the story: The theme should be related to the main conflict and the events of the story and should emerge from them.
- Consider the characters and their motivations: The theme should be reflected in the characters and their motivations and should reveal something about their values and beliefs.
- Think about the message that you want to convey: The theme should be relevant to the audience and should convey a message that you want to share with them.
Step 6: Create the Story Outline
Once you have defined the genre and tone of the story, developed the characters, developed the plot, defined the setting, and identified the theme, you can start creating the story outline.
There are many ways to create a story outline, and you can choose the one that fits your needs and style. Here are some options:
- The three-act structure: The three-act structure is a classical narrative structure that divides the story into three parts: the setup, the confrontation, and the resolution. Each act has a specific purpose and builds towards the climax.
- The hero's journey: The hero's journey is a narrative structure that follows the journey of a hero as they embark on a quest, face challenges and obstacles, and achieve a transformation. It is based on the monomyth, a concept proposed by Joseph Campbell in his book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces."
- The snowflake method: The snowflake method is a structured approach to writing a novel that starts with a single idea and expands it into a detailed outline. It was developed by Randy Ingermanson, a computer scientist and novelist.
To create a story outline using any of these methods, you can follow these steps:
- Divide the story into sections: Depending on the method that you choose, divide the story into sections that reflect the structure of the story.
- Write a summary for each section: For each section, write a summary that includes the main events, the characters, and the conflicts of the story.
- Add details and examples: Add details and examples to each section to flesh out the story and make it more specific and vivid.
- Use bullet points: Use bullet points to list the main points of each section and make the outline more organized and easier to read.
Step 7: Revise and Edit the Story Outline
After you have created the story outline, you should revise and edit it to make sure that it is clear, coherent, and consistent.
To revise and edit the story outline, you can follow these steps:
- Read it out loud: Reading the story outline out loud will help you catch errors and awkward sentences and will allow you to hear how the story sounds.
- Check the structure and flow: Make sure that the story has a clear structure and that the events follow a logical and cohesive flow. Eliminate any unnecessary or redundant scenes and rearrange the scenes if needed.
- Verify the consistency and realism: Check the consistency of the characters, the plot, and the setting and make sure that they are realistic and believable. Correct any contradictions or inconsistencies that you find.
- Edit for grammar and style: Check the grammar and style of the story outline and fix any errors or awkward phrasing. Use a writing tool, such as a grammar checker or a thesaurus, to help you.
A story outline is a plan that outlines the key elements of a story and helps writers organize and structure their ideas. It can be created using different methods and structures, such as the three-act structure, the hero's journey, or the snowflake method. To create a successful story outline, you should define the genre and tone of the story, develop the characters, develop the plot, define the setting, identify the theme, and revise and edit the outline. By following these steps, you can create a story outline that helps you write a compelling and coherent story.