Contrary to what we may think, good books are not linear.

When I began as an author, it never occurred to me that books didn’t start at the beginning.

Most authors organize their books in a linear fashion because that is how we were taught to create a simple outline.

Guess what? Linear books are often exceedingly boring because they don’t take into consideration this one important question.

How do keep the reader engaged throughout the reading of the book?

There is another way to create an outline that does away with standard linear thinking.

Enter the Circle Diagram.

For those who have never created a circle diagram, it starts at the center and works out from there. Like the spokes of a wheel.

Using the circle diagram instead of a traditional outline has the simple effect of by passing the linear structure and at the same time allows the author to define the content of the book.

With the book in the center, the next ring of topics can either reflect your sections or your chapters. I recommend doing this in a quick manner, so that you don’t get bogged down in too much thought or detail.

Once your first ring is set, you can continue to the outer rings with more details, or even easier, set up new circle diagrams for the sections or chapters. Putting them at the center of the circle and putting the details of what they will include in the outer layer. In this way, you can organize the content for your book in an easy to read manner.

This circle outline is for you, and does not need to make sense to anyone else. It is to be used as a content memory jogger.

In essence, the circle diagram is your book in a nonlinear structure.

This exercise has a way of imprinting your sub conscious mind with all the content of your soon to be drafted book.

In the next Rama On Writing Blog, I will provide some insight into getting the words out of your head and the content off your circle diagram and onto your computer.