Outline (literature)

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Outline is a term from English and literally means: contours, sketches or outline. It is used in various contexts in German-speaking countries.

An outline is commonly referred to as a sketch for text. In the context of literature , this can be a narrative sketch as a preliminary stage to a narrative . A distinction is made between the actual outline and the step or plot outline : The setting , the figures and their actions are discussed in more detail. These are methods that an author uses to get an overview of his story and to be able to identify structural or dramaturgical problems in his work at an early stage . In the film industry, the step outline is a common preliminary stage to the script . It contains a brief list of all the scenes that the author would like to use.

There are so-called outline processors or outline editors , software that supports the structuring of topics. In German-language software, structure or outline is often used for the term 'outline'.

Outline is called an outline in the English version . In OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) is an XML structure that was developed to describe the outlines of documents.

In typography the term outline is used to denote the contours or borders of a font.

Examples of outline in fictional literature

Rachel Cusk even calls her novel Outline to draw attention to the concept of a vague narrative framework. The protagonist mutates into a medium to which all kinds of stories are brought up without turning it into a stringent narrative. The heroine remains 'outline' in the background, while encounters and stories drift along her. ( Outline , 2014; German 2016)

Don Winslow lets the protagonist Eddy do good press work towards the end of Das Kartell (novel) . He hires a journalist who comes up with a loose script. “Was that a treatment or an outline?” - “The outline of a treatment, you could say. If you agree, we will write the right treatment. "(Das Kartell, German 2015, page 660)

See also


  • Dudenverlag: Duden - The foreign dictionary . Dudenverlag, Mannheim 2007, ISBN 978-3-411-04059-9 .
  • The Brockhaus: The Brockhaus Computer and Information Technology . Brockhaus, Mannheim / Leipzig 2003, ISBN 3-7653-0251-1 .

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