Days 25-28: Evaluating the Strength of Your Formatted Outline
Chapter Six of FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS
by Karen S. Wiesner

Please note that everything on this page is meant to be a supplemental to what's contained in my book FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS.
Unless you've read that, much of what you'll read on these example pages won't make sense.
I highly recommend reading FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS first.


Paranormal Romance
by Karen Wiesner

Tagging and Tracing Plot Threads Throughout the Formatted Outline Example

Click here to read the Plot Sketch for this story

Day: December 12th
Chapter and Scene #: Prologue
POV Character: Maddie Christopher
Additional Characters: The demon, Natas Sevil, through their telepathic connection
Location: Maddie's apartment in Plover, WI
Approximate Time: Very early morning
Facts Necessary: Sevil is being transferred from the prison in Milwaukee to a prison in the lower part of the state
Draft of Scene: Sevil warns Maddie through their telepathic connection that he's coming for her. [STORY GOAL] [SUBPLOT THREAD #3] {PLOT TENSION}

hard page break

Day: December 12th
Chapter and Scene #: Scene 2
POV Character: Robyn Warren
Additional Characters: Cassidy Christopher and Maddie
Location: Robyn's apartment in Los Angeles, California
Approximate Time: Very early morning
Facts Necessary:
Draft of Scene: Robyn is having an erotic dream about Cass (she doesn't realize they have a telepathic connection, and that this is really happening). [ROMANCE THREAD] [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {ROMANTIC/SEXUAL TENSION} {PLOT TENSION} Something malevolent is watching them, and she's somehow losing herself in Cass yet she's still aware of this malevolent force nearby. [STORY GOAL] {PLOT TENSION} Robyn wakes with the phone ringing. It's Cass' daughter Maddie. Maddie is a wreck, talking gibberish. Maddie asks Robyn to come to Plover, saying her father will need her. Robyn is terrified after Maddie hangs up. She calls Cass. [STORY GOAL] [SUBPLOT THREADS #3 & #5] {PLOT TENSION}

hard page break

Day: December 12th
Chapter and Scene #: Scene 3
POV Character: Cass
Additional Characters: Robyn and Maddie
Location: Cass' cabin in Plover, WI
Approximate Time: Very early morning
Facts Necessary:
Draft of Scene: Cass woke about 5-10 minutes ago. Now he's contending with a headache [SUBPLOT THREAD #4] and an unsatisfied arousal after his telepathic connection--erotic encounters--with Robyn. [ROMANCE THREAD] [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION} When the phone rings, he immediately knows it's Robyn. Feels like she's next to him. When he picks up the phone, he says, "Robyn." She doesn't ask how he knew, [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {PLOT TENSION} but there's a pause, before she says in a terrified voice, "Something's happened. I think your daughter is going to do something drastic. You'd better get to her right away. She just called me and she's in a terrible state." [STORY GOAL] [SUBPLOT THREAD #3] {PLOT TENSION}

Return to Table of Contents

To read the entire outline with the plot sketch tagged and traced throughout, click here.

Paranormal Romance
by Karen Wiesner

Isolating Plot Threads Example

Subplot Thread #2 (Robyn and Cass' telepathic connection)

Chapter One
She's having an erotic "telepathic" dream about Cass. Phone rings and he immediately knows it's Robyn. When he picks up the phone, he says, "Robyn." She doesn't ask how he knew. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {ROMANTIC/SEXUAL TENSION} {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Three
Her feelings for him are stronger than ever. He's warm and friendly toward her, but won't let on that he's affected by her presence too. Her touch eases the pain in his head. His need for her is fierce. She starts to say something about a kind of massage she's been reading about that might help, he says, "Don't." In his mind, he says to her. You know it doesn't matter what either of us intends, honey. When you touch me. . .I want you. Their mind connection is real. Cass realized it about a year ago. She doesn't realize it, although he suspects she wonders often whether or not it is real. He allows this because it's the only way he'll ever be able to have her. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION}

Chapter Four
Robyn is asleep, he can feel how deeply in his mind. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION}

Chapter Five
They're both up early, coffee instead of breakfast, they're silent except the communication in their minds. She seems a little on-edge because of it, can't help believing that they can really hear each other this way but knows it can't be true. At work, from his office, Cass watches Robyn below, thinking, Thank God she's home. Realizes he's not just thinking of for Maddie. Wonders how much time Robyn took off work. She'll have to go back-long before he's ready to let her go. He thinks, I don't want you to leave me, honey. She looks up to see him. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION}

Chapter Six
The connection between them is stronger than ever before, if possible. She thinks she's losing her mind, this can't be real, if it was it would mean everything she and Cass had done had been real. She's surprised he doesn't kiss her. She hears the jumble of his thoughts as he stalks outside on some pretense, he doesn't want to lose her so he can't love her. She tells him in her mind, You'll never lose me. Later that night, in her bedroom. The day was tense and uncomfortable. He'd placed a wall between them telepathically. She goes to bed, in her mind asks Cass if he's there. He answers, he still has the wall there, but he'll be on-guard. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION}

Chapter Seven
Cass tried blocking Robyn out all day. He answers her now because he knows he has to keep her safe, but he's determined to keep on-guard about his feelings for her. In his mind, realizes she's not with him anymore and calls for her. Realizes Sevil is calling for her. It happens again, and he shouts for her to stay with him. Hears a creak on the steps, then she's back with him. He now knows the only way he can protect her is to go to her fully in his mind, lay down with her the way he did the night before and hold her to him. She's so deeply asleep, she doesn't seem to realize what's happening The phone rings. Cass hangs up. Dresses. When he's opens the door, Robyn's there in the hall, dressed, her face is drawn in worry. He realizes she didn't hear the phone ring. She felt him move away from her. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION} {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Nine
Robyn thinks of Cass. She sometimes thinks she can hear him and he hears her. That feeling is getting stronger and stronger, but why wouldn't Cass tell her? She wouldn't be embarrassed of anything they'd done. Maybe he doesn't want to admit how he feels for her and she knows those stolen moments are about love. In the car, Robyn thinks, Cass, can you hear me? Immediately, he turns toward her, thinks, Always, and she knows. She knows he knows. But they don't talk about it. He let Robyn know their telepathic communication is real because she might be more reluctant to allow intimacy then and because he needs to protect her somehow (if she knows all she has to do is call to him in her mind and he'll hear her, she'll be safer). [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION}

Chapter Eleven
Just as she's drifting off, she hears a voice in her head and she thinks, Cass? Is that you? The response is: Yes. Come to me. Will you come to me?. In a trance, feeling lethargic, she rises out of bed, thinking, Yes, I'll always come to you, Cass. I'm yours. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION} {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Twelve
Cass is angry at himself. Should have known. Races out to his truck. Just as he gets on 54, he hears Robyn in his head, Cass, is that you? But he feels no connection to Robyn, the way he usually does, even when he answers her. She's not hearing him. So who is she hearing?

Despite the slippery road, he speeds up, calling to Robyn in his head. He'd been so afraid to be near her today, he'd lost his senses. He cares about her too much, wants her too much, and doesn't know how he can deny either of them when they're together. He hears the rest of her words now, but he can't hear who's talking to her. He drives up to his house. Robyn is in his headlights. She looks like she's in a trance until he gets out and shouts her name. She comes out of it, looking confused. He rushes to her. "What are you doing?" he asks. Robyn says, "I don't know. I thought I heard you calling to me, telling me to come to you."

"Let's get you inside," Cass says. He picks her up and carries her inside. Sits her in front of the fireplace, starts the fire, then puts her on his lap. She's shivering, cuddles up to him, and he sees tears in her eyes. She's terrified at what almost happened. He'd called her. Sevil. And she'd gone as though powerless to fight him. What if Cass hadn't been nearly home? She would have frozen to death, trying to get to a killer. Obviously Sevil has a long reach. I almost lost you, he thinks in fear and knows she hears him. He tells her to go home. She flees upstairs. He wants to follow her, connect with her telepathically, take away the pain his own fear of losing her caused, but knows he'd make everything worse. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION} {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Thirteen
Cass looks at her for a long time, surprised at how point blank she'd said she loves him. When he leans close, she remembers how they made love telepathically, over the 2000 mile distance. And that was real. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION}

Chapter Fourteen
She goes upstairs and closes herself in her room. Cass follows, knocks on the door, says, Honey, I love you in his head. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION} {RELEASE}

Chapter Sixteen
He shakes his head. Hears another voice in his head repeating what Robyn said-they have to do bury Sevil, and they have to do it together. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION} {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Seventeen
Robyn says, "You can't. You know that too. I have to be the bait-I'm what he wants. You have to dig the hole under your tree. We'll protect each other by staying together in our minds. You know he can't get to me when we're together like that. He won't be able to lure me. I'll lure him to the tree, and then we'll capture him in the box." He and Robyn promise they'll keep their mind connection constantly during the ten minutes. Hopefully that'll keep Natas from mesmerizing and luring her. He and Robyn keep in contact the entire time it takes for him to jog to the tree (quarter of a mile away-3 minutes). He starts digging. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION} {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Eighteen
She's in the house, listening to Cass' voice. She hears a noise upstairs. The connection with Cass is broken. She hears another voice in her head. She's helpless to ignore it. Cass realizes she's no longer with him. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION} {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Nineteen
Robyn reaches the landing and hears another voice in the back of her mind-I love you, Robyn. Robyn! Listen to me! [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION} {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Twenty-one
In his head, Cass thinks, I can't ask you to stay with me, Robyn. I won't ask that. He doesn't intend for Robyn to hear him, but she heard Cass' thoughts. How can he love her if he doesn't want them to be together? [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {R/S TENSION}

Chapter Twenty-two
After she's on the plane, they come together telepathically. Cass: Are you there? Robyn smiles, leans her head back on her seat. I'm here, darling. Always for you. [SUBPLOT THREAD #2] {RESOLUTION OF SUBPLOT THREAD #2} [RELEASE]

Subplot Thread #10 (Sheridan's brother Jimmy, whom Cass rescued when they were children, and Jimmy's problems as a direct result of that event)

Chapter Two (Scene 2)
Cass calls his neighbor, Kevin Sheridan, who is a police officer. Cass and Sheridan's background: Cass saved Sheridan's brother Jimmy when he was 3 years old. The little boy climbed Cass' white oak tree (known in Portage County as The Protector), and then couldn't get down. Cass went up and got him. Sheridan now feels he "owes" Cass for this. Their relationship is not friends/not enemies. Kevin is still Cass' neighbor. Kevin takes care of Jimmy now. [SUBPLOT THREAD #10] {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Eight (Scene 2)
Sheridan asks Cass to check on his brother Jimmy on his way home, since he'll be home late.

Robyn stays on the porch at Sheridan's house instead of going in with him. Cass doesn't want her to be frightened. Maddie is afraid of Jimmy, always has been because of how big and strange he looks.

Description on Jimmy-6'7, everything except his brain grew, he's not retarded, coherency comes and goes, he's a narcoleptic, feet the size of planks, hands are twice the size of a normal man's, his head is huge too. Jimmy has always liked Cass. Cass treats him like a son. Feels sad for him because he's never been the same since he climbed that tree. He does some really strange, dangerous things. Jimmy calls Cass "Christy."

Cass goes in, finds him watching TV. He's chewed his fingernails past the quick and they're bleeding. Jimmy claims he doesn't feel it. He's happy to see Cass, happy like a child. Just before Cass leaves, Jimmy suddenly sounds like a grown man when he says, "He's after your girlfriend, Christy. He's a wolf. I want to protect her too. She's so pretty, almost as pretty as Maddie." Cass asks, "When did you see her?" Jimmy says he sneaked out yesterday and saw her while his brother was over there with the rest of the cops. Jimmy says, "I want to protect her too, but I don't want the wolf to rip my heart out with his teeth." Cass says, "Kevin'll be working late. Call me if you need anything." But sees that Jimmy has fallen asleep. [SUBPLOT THREAD #10] {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Eleven (Scene 2)
Robyn meets up with Sheridan in the mall. Sheridan tells her about how Cass saved his brother Jimmy. Robyn is endeared to him, despite the obvious rivalry between him and Cass. Sheridan seems to hold Cass in esteem for how he saved his brother. Sheridan tells her Jimmy has never recovered from it anyway. He's a narcoleptic, not retarded, but his brain never grew with the rest of him. He drops off without warning wherever he is. He's never been able to go to school, hold a job or be productive. Kevin has taken care of him since his parents died. (Show how much he cares for his brother throughout this) Jimmy needs someone to take care of him. He does strange things, has hallucinations. Doesn't seem to remember or realize what he's doing.

Kevin says, "I've found him out in the middle of the woods in the dead of night and in winter, dressed in his shorts, pawing at the ground, and crying, "Put it back! You did this to me." (Kevin is talking now as if he's in a trance, tears are in his eyes.) Jimmy never knows how he got there. Robyn asks if there are medications to help, and Sheridan says, "They just make it worse." [SUBPLOT THREAD #10] {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Fifteen (Scene 2)
That night, Cass and Robyn are on the rug in front of the fire. A wolf howls outside, but they desperately try to lose themselves in each other so they don't have to think about what's outside. [SUBPLOT THREAD #10] {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Sixteen (Scene 1)
Sheridan shows up early in the morning; can't find his brother. The three of them go out to search. They find Jimmy dead in the woods in the clearing where The Protector was. Jimmy's heart has been ripped out. Robyn hears Cass say in her head, He said something... "I want to protect her, Christy, but I don't want the wolf to rip my heart out with his teeth." They'd heard the wolf howl last night and ignored it desperately. At what price? [SUBPLOT THREAD #10] {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Sixteen (Scene 2)
Before Sheridan leaves, insisting he'll take care of his brother himself, he warns Cass to be careful because whatever did this to his brother isn't human and it's not a wolf. [SUBPLOT THREAD #10] {PLOT TENSION}

Chapter Twenty (Scene 2)
In the house, over coffee, Sheridan tells them his granddad used to tell him about a special music box buried under The Protector. The box was hundreds of years old. If anyone unburied it and opened the box, they would unleash a demon that would destroy whoever owned the property The Protector is on. Once the demon was loose, the tree would die. Sheridan unburied it after Cass married Evie, but he didn't open it. He kept it in the house, somewhere Jimmy wouldn't find it. Kevin says he thinks it affected Jimmy adversely. [SUBPLOT THREAD #10] [RESOLUTION OF SUBPLOT THREAD #10] {PLOT TENSION} {RELEASE}

Return to Table of Contents

Go back a page
Go forward a page

About the Author

Sign up for Karen's newsletter, Karen's Quill, below!

Subscribe to KarensQuill
Powered by

Jewels of the Quill

Free Monthly Giveaways!

Home button


Button design by Karen Wiesner.

If you experience technical problems with this site, please contact the Webmistress.