How do I write an outline? And is it necessary for each story?
I completely agree with the preceding answer. I merely want to expand a bit on 'plan the key points throughout your story' since that is vague. What are the key points of a story?
First, there is the Inciting Incident, that is the event that starts the whole story. What triggers the sequence of events that (will) make up the story? And what kind of problem, what kind of question does it raise for the protagonist. Next, there is the climax, the high note near the end of your story. Answering this amounts to explaining how the problem is solved, how the question is answered.
All events in between are the complications, the conflicts the protagonist has to overcome to reach the climax.
It's not a 'real' outline, but this way you have some direction for your thinking. I find it a useful approach.
Good luck with your story. Enjoy!
Outlining isn't necessarily straightforward, there are many ways of doing it, and you may not want to do it at all!
It's all a personal choice(unless this is for a school assignment). You can find many ways of outlining on the internet, but I'll lay a few out here... First, you could plan the entire book from start to finish before you even start your first page. You would write out a basic plan for each chapter, maybe a few sentences, or if you want more detail, paragraphs about what each chapter should do for your story.
Another option is to plan as you go, planning a few chapters out and seeing where you end up after you write them. Writing always seems to help generate more ideas about what comes next. Many people find this to be an easy strategy to follow.
Finally, I'll tell you that you can just plan key points throughout your story and figure out how to connect them while you're actually writing.
The bottom line is you have to find what works for you, try different things and look up how people you read do it. Just make sure you get around to finishing your story. 😁