So, go to Jaye's blog to read a great example of how to outline a book.
Jaye Wells: Outline Schmoutline
Differences: change poster board to large blank wall for me
Difference: add a few more colors (usually 5-7 colors) as I try to keep track of how often certain main characters appear, where the fight scenes are, and where the sex is.
Plotting is heavy into balance and pacing.
Once I'm done with outlining a book on the wall, I move it over to the computer where I create an outline I can easily reference when I'm writing. It's a series of extremely short notes that helps me remember where I'm headed with each story.
Here is an example of the outline that I created for Dayhunter:
Encounter Nightshade & witch
Group (Mira, Danaus, Tristan) leave for Coven – Venice
Discuss power use at Themis
Mira promises to protect D.
Mira and Danaus find Naturi at Coven
Danaus sees Mira’s scars
Speak with Valerio & Gwen
Alex tells of ashes in U.K.
Mira attempts to attack Elders
Coven needs time to consider
Speaks with Alex & Vasili
Mira & Danaus at Torcello
**The red font indicates a fight scene. **
If you've read the book, you know there's a lot in the book that doesn't appear in the outline. The notes are brief. I just need enough to jog loose my memory of what I had planned for that particular scene in the book. Most people who saw the outline wouldn't understand it and in many ways, the outline changes as I go.
The outline is not carved in stone.
It is there to act as a guide to keep you moving forward. It helps you stay focused and give direction when you are encountering some writer's block. If a brilliant idea hits you while you're working, feel free to tweak the plot. Characters are constantly surprising writers with the new directions they want to take. You have to be willing to tackle the unexpected with your characters. For me, some of my best stuff has come from things that I didn't originally plan.