How to Create a Rough Outline of your Writing

In writing it’s VERY important that you remain organized. You want to create a ROADMAP of your journey before putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Some people ask me – Well how detailed do you need to be?

Not overly detailed but enough to trigger in your mind the content you want to highlight within the scene or on the page. Here’s a sample to get you started:

ROUGH OUTLINE (partial):  SCREENPLAY –COMMUNITY SERVICE”

  • 20 yr old hangs around his dorm room playing playstation. He’s 2ND year pre-law at USC or wherever but is unmotivated to finish up.
  • His dad stops by to chat and motivate his son which falls on deaf ears.
  • Instead the young man goes to hang with his homies from his old neighborhood for the weekend. They try and act gangsta but they really aren’t. Just mixed up in their surroundings.
  • One of the fake gangstas’ received his GED and suggests they celebrate at a local club.
  • The 20yr old gets left behind talking to a shorty and decides he will catch up with them later.
  • When he’s approaching the club with the chick, police harass and begin to heckle him. He tries not to re-act but makes a slick comment to one “rookie” cop trying to prove himself in the force.
  • They basically almost beat him down in front of his boys and all they can do is watch. He’s dragged away to the police station
  • He’s assigned a very young Public Defender intimidated by the police force. She suggests the kid plead to a much lesser charge and take the community service. So he doesn’t file a lawsuit against the force.
  • That Monday he has to see the judge(The Jail scene is an important part in the movie given he’s never been in the stereo typical jail situation)……. The judge takes a liking to the young man and grants him some leniency.
  • He’s ordered to 300 hours of community service(which is a full time job with 10 hour days) at a minimum security facility. The work must be completed in a month and a half. Work begins the next day.
  • On the way home , the boy rants and raves to his parents about being falsely accused. His father has a heart to heart about how men are treated in the streets. Also mentoring his son about trying to change things if he can. But the boy ignores him.
  • Still angry, the boy spends a restless night in his bedroom angry at the world.
  • Next day, he’s shipped off to the facility with the clothes on his back. A rinky dink bus heading out to the facility
  • As he enters the facility, he notices things are segregated between old and new community service workers.
  • When he hops on the new line, the old cats begin to jeer at him like he’s in jail. The young boy realizes what he’s really gotten himself into.

To Be Continued

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