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Outlining A Nonfiction Book? Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes!

by | Jan 5, 2021 | Videos For Writers, Writing Tips

Outlining a nonfiction book? In this video, I share 5 common mistakes first time writers make that stop them from making significant progress with their manuscript. Are you making these mistakes while outlining a nonfiction book?

Don’t Make These 5 Outlining Mistakes!


MISTAKE #1 Not being detailed enough. Make sure you include detailed information about what you wish to include in each chapter. One word descriptions for chapters can be confusing later when you’re ready to write, especially if you don’t remember what your original idea was. Being detailed will also help you determine if your idea is in a fact a complete chapter or if you need to skip the chapter altogether.

MISTAKE #2 Not putting things in a logical order. Arrange your chapters with your target audience in mind. What do they need to know first? What do they need to know next?

MISTAKE #3 Not including an introduction. For non-fiction genres (excluding memoir writers) write an introduction for your book. The goal of the introduction is to introduce yourself, your writing style, and your ideas to the potential reader of your book. Again keep your target audience in mind! Share briefly who you are and what readers can expect from reading your book.

MISTAKE #4 Not including a closing chapter. Consider your first chapter when writing the final chapter of your book. What promises did you make in the introduction? Have you fulfilled them? Use your last chapter to tie up loose ends. Share with your reader what they should’ve learned, and what they can expect from the information they’ve learned in your book.

MISTAKE #5 Sticking to the outline too closely. While your outline is the blueprint for your book, remember it’s a working document. This means while you’re writing your book, chapter ideas may change as you gain more clarity around your writing.

Curious about the mistakes first-time writers make while formatting? Read 7 Mistakes Beginner Writers Make When Formatting A Manuscript.

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