How can I create an outline of One Day of Life in order to be able to write an essay? For example, what does the outline need to contain?

An outline of a book should contain a brief description of the setting, characters, and main events of the book. It differs from a summary in being more structured and (generally) less detailed. You can organize your outline on the structure of Freytag's Pyramid or adopt an alternative structure, such as by making sections for setting, character, and themes, followed by one-sentence summaries of each chapter.

Expert Answers

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There are several different ways of writing an outline, particularly for a work of fiction. If you have not been given a template or any other guidance, then you should include the details you think will be most useful to you in writing your essay from the ones suggested below.

One of the most common ways of writing an outline for a work of fiction is to use Freytag's Pyramid, or some variation on this structure. This means that you will begin with a few sentences of exposition, setting the scene, followed by the rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. The majority of time and space is devoted to the rising action, and an outline should be highly structured, laid out in points (rather than in paragraphs, as a summary would be). The structure, therefore, would be something like this.

Exposition

A few sentences introducing the setting and characters

Rising action

Event 1

Event 2

Event 3, and so on

Climax

One sentence, describing the event

Falling action

One or more events

Resolution

One or two sentences on how the plot is resolved

Alternatively, you can organize the outline by writing a few lines about the setting, then the characters, and then the themes (identifying them rather than going into depth), followed by a sentence on the main events of each chapter.

One Day of Life, as the title suggests, takes place over the course of a single day—in fact, about twelve hours. It therefore lends itself to a simple chronological outline in either of the forms above.

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