“Is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.”-Captain Barbossa, an excerpt of the Pirate’s code from Pirates of the Caribbean.
I approach my outlines as a writing stock of story preparation, to add onto the more you write and serve as the basis for your novel. And to build my writing stock I use a bullet list. I’d first write down on paper the name of the character(s), place or thing. Next, I build a history that I can go back to use as a reference. Then, I build a dossier table in order to form a clearer picture of who they are, what they are doing and why, when and how. I also link them to photos so that it becomes easier to describe them and their surroundings. All of this helps keep the storytelling consistent as well as show the interrelationships between characters, settings, plot, etc. Last, I type it all in Word, add some additional traits and plots, and save them in individual folders and in Evernote. I’d like to use Scrivener as well for storyboard purposes as it allows you to edit multiple documents as a whole. Alas I have a chromebook and Scrivener has not made an app for us users (Hint: Make. One. Soon!)
In the end, my outline that had been broken up by character, setting and plots, creatures/weaponry/machinery, etc looks like this: