I’ve been working on an exercise suggested by a writing website. Make generalized notes summarizing the actions of each scene in a movie: Introduction of Bad Guy; Main Character discovers Evil Plan; Main Character set back by Bad Guy Henchmen. The notations should be non-specific enough that another reader couldn’t easily identify the movie you’d reviewed. Which presumably makes them generic enough to be used as an outline for your original story.
I can see how the notes I’ve made would be useful to another writer or a better writer than I am. If I used them as an outline not recalling the movie to mind would be difficult. It’s a few more scenes before I can get to that point anyhow.
What I am discovering is the volume of information conveyed in each scene of a well made story like the one I’m using. My expectations going in were that I’d be using phrases as succinct as the examples above. I’m not. Objectifying the factors inherent in the story is easier on a per scene basis than it is when you then have to string those scenes together. One object that started off as New Partner soon evolved into Other Main because New Partner implied too much. Even using Henchmen, which could be interpreted loosely if one chose, likely conveys too much so I re-termed them Bad Guy Proxy. I suspect Bad Guy could even carry descriptive conotations that would direct a writer’s hand more than I’d intended.
I do like that I described the arrival of Police as “Story Appropriate Environmental Factors”.
Another aspect of story telling I’m uncovering is the bulk of story in a story. Before as I’d laid out parts of my aborted NaNoWriMo I’d not put in nearly the amount of action in each outlined scene as I’m decanting from this effort.