We were discussing this at Louise’s board, so I just pasted my post over here! 😉
I create a “working notes” and a “working timeline”.
The notes document is more a “this is what needs to go into the story at some point” more than an outline-outline. Anyone looking at it wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails out of it, as it’s more of just a list of “actions” and “character thoughts” than anything else. As those are included in the manuscript, I cross them off.
And the timeline is just that. With the exception of Midnight, my Harlan Vampires stories range from September of one year to March two years later. So, I create a columned table in Word – month/year – ch # – event – brief notes (8pt courier new with the smallest row height). I end up with a list that looks something like:
* march…ch 8…6th eldering…brooke
By the time I’m finished, I have a list of what’s where and how. I label my individual files the same way (though with the “ch #” first to keep them in chronological order in the files list) – so when I add them into the completed document, I know what direction I’m going, at least.
I smudged out the “spoilers”.
(you can see more of my “writing process in pictures” here)