Detailed Outline

With each scene in your novel, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of this scene?
  • How is this scene related to the scene immediately before/after?
  • What characters are involved in this scene?
  • What is the setting?
  • What is at stake for the protagonist in this scene?
  • What is the conflict in this scene?
  • How does this scene further develop my novel’s plot?


The 5th Compass: A Pirate’s Tale

BOOK ONE (Daxton)


ACT I (12 Chapters) | Part One

  1. Captain Leo is in bed with her lover, Wendynn, when her Ship, The Shadow, is attacked. She and her men fend off another of King Rowan of Gaspar’s ships but not before Captain Hinde tells her the Paragon is coming.
    1. She has a premonition that she is with child and asks for Spire (one of her Pirate Captains) to be brought to her immediately.
  2. Traix, of the King’s Army, manages to escape the carnage and swim back to shore with the aid of a corpse. He meets Adelaide, gives her his sword.
  3. Traix and Adelaide enter the Serpent’s Head and meet both Corwinn and Kreiger. He picks a fight which causes him to lose the girl and go in search of her. Leaving the two men to scheme their way back into the King’s good graces.
  4. Traix and Adelaide take the long route to the King’s castle but are denied entry.
  5. Corwinn takes the faster route, gets there first and manages to talk the King into giving him what he wants. In return, Corwinn meets and must work with, the Paragon.
  6. Captain Leo tells Spire she needs to see Nelle but that no one must know about it. When he attempts to fetch, her she tells him that first she needs to retrieve a few things: 1) From a man and his young traveling companion; the sword. With a promise that it will be returned in time. In exchange, she will help them get to a faraway land (near the Compass Maker).
  7. Traveling on a Steamship Nelle, Spire, Traix and Adelaide make for: Sea of Swirling Stones which leaves them (Name here). Further inland they meet the Compass Maker. 2) The 5 compasses.
  8. Nelle boards The Shadow in secret and while everyone slumbers she casts a spell on Captain Leo splitting her soul into the 5 Compasses using the Sword.
  9. The Paragon and Corwinn discover Nelle visited the Ship and capture her to get information through torture provided by the Paragon himself. Corwinn can’t stomach it. She tells them of the Compasses, but not of the child. Paragon turns her into a hideous Hag and releases her with very little power.
  10. Captain Leo gets word that Nelle’s been captured and can only imagine what she’s revealed. She calls upon her four most trusted Pirate Captains to take 4 Compasses to the furthest corners of the Earth and hide them where they may never be found. She sends Wendynn with Spire. No one except Nelle and Spire know she is with child.
  11. Nine months later the Ships she sent out are returning, caught in a fierce battle with multiple ships under the command of General Corwinn. During the battle Nelle, in Hag form, manages to show up to help deliver Captain Leo’s baby. She is then charged with taking the child and the 5th Compass as far away as possible. Captain Leo sheds a tear and says goodbye.
  12. Nelle escapes undetected and takes the child to its new home, journeying for many moons on horseback till she finds the perfect place on the outskirts of Gaspar with a farming couple. She leaves a note for them, the compass, and the sword that once belonged to Adelaide.


ACT II (13 Chapters) | Part Two

  1. Daxton, now eighteen years old, wakes with a fright from a nightmare he was having.
  2. His best, and only, friend Barton comes over to go hunting with Daxton. Afterwards, while sitting outside of his shack on the farm, Daxton tells his friend about the nightmare. His parents overhear the story.
  3. Daxton’s parents tell him how he came to be their son and give him what was left on him when they found him on their doorstep; a note, a Compass and the sword.
  4. The next morning, he and Barton go down to the docks where Daxton pukes his guts up just from smelling the sea air. An old hag sees this and offers a “remedy” that will cure him of his sickness from the sea. He refuses her. Then she offers to help him find the maker of the compass. Again, he refuses her. (this is the Powerful Witch in disguise)
  5. Barton’s father’s ship arrives and he’s busy giving orders to his men to round up the most able bodied men in the area to train them for a future battle. Barton is excited to join but Daxton would rather look for the maker of the Compass, the reason they are there is to ask Barton’s father, General Corwinn. He has no time for them.
  6. Daxton has the same nightmare that night. In his restlessness, he sneaks out of the house and heads back down to the docks where he knows people like that Hag are known to not only sell things but also live. He manages to find her and in exchange for where he may find the Compass Maker he must drink a potion that will cure him of his sickness from the sea. He agrees.
  7. The next morning men with coats of armor from the King of Gaspar barge into people’s homes collecting all able-bodied men and boys, rounding them up to see who would be fit to fight in the King’s name.
  8. Daxton causes a commotion when the men try to take him, getting the attention of the General when he attempts to stave them off with his workman’s bow and arrow.
  9. General Corwinn decides to take Daxton under his wing and teach him how to use a proper bow and arrow in battle.
  10. Daxton spends all morning in training and his afternoons with Barton who starts resenting his friend for being better and getting more attention. The General sees this and decides to teach his son a lesson.
  11. The morning the King who never leaves the protection of his castle decides to visit the General plans to use Daxton to humiliate his embarrassment of a son. The hag gets a hold of Daxton and tells him he mustn’t fight in this war, instead he must escape and take the Kings Bow with him!
  12. At the Kings Procession Daxton asks his best friend to help him steal the Bow and leave on a steam ship headed to the land where he’ll find the Compass Maker. He gives Barton the Sword he was left with as a child. He agrees but not before men take them to the town square where everyone is present and the General wants to show the King what they can do.
  13. The Bow never leaves the Kings side, everyone is watching and Daxton and Barton are to fight. One with sword the other with his bow. Through cunning and trickery both boys get the Kings Bow and manage to escape with the General on their tail!


ACT III (11 Chapters)

  1. The boys manage to evade the General and get on the steamship where the Hag also happens to be on board demanding the Kings Bow.
  2. Once in her hands it transforms her from a hag to a beautiful sorceress. Her true form. Why she was turned into an ugly hag/witch is revealed in another series. As payment for their help she bestows powers upon the Bow that it can never be broken by weapons forged from human hands!
  3. They reach the island/land where the Compass Maker lives. He tells them of a beautiful woman who came more than eighteen years ago and took 5 compasses like the one he has. But where she went and why she needed them he did not know. However, he swore he saw a young girl a long time ago in the village walking with a compass he thought looked identical to the one he sold. He tells them it was back at the Market Square (give a name).
  4. The boys realize he may have meant the Hag who was now long gone. They decided to find this girl who had the compass in the Market. They find a Tavern named Compass North and decide to investigate. The owner, Traix, tells them his daughter suggested the name and to appease her he decided to use it. The boys pretend to be looking for lodgings for the night and he offers to accommodate them, taking them back to his farm.
  5. Adelaide, now twenty-four, is beautiful, but also VERY tomboyish. She spends her days practicing fighting with a sword. Barton becomes smitten with her and offers to help train with her the next morning. Daxton reminds him why they are there making Barton jealous.
  6. Traix doesn’t trust leaving her daughter in the company of these two boys and suggests, rather strongly, that they go to the pub and work for their stay. They agree. During a break mid-day they discuss what they will do once they get the Compass, should the girl have it? A man sitting nearby hears them mention a Compass and offers to help as he may know where there is another. A member of the King’s Army enters the tavern in search of two boys. He doesn’t see them sitting at the table and they sneak out before he does with the stranger as well.
  7. Not knowing if Traix will turn them in or not they rush back to the farm and demand the girl turn over the Compass they know she has. She pretends not to know what they speak of and Barton draws his which she recognizes right away as the one belonging to her father. Daxton offers her a trade; the compass for the sword, but Barton, ever stubborn, refuses to part with it and they both sword fight.
  8. Barton bests her and noticing a bulge in the side of her dress he snatches it away and hands it over to Daxton to see the Compass contained inside the pouch. Just as they are about to leave Traix returns home with a knife to his throat held by Captain Corwinn who couldn’t believe his luck when his soldier told him who owned the Compass North.
  9. Upon seeing his traitorous son, Corwinn tosses Traix aside and draws his sword to teach him a lesson. Now they fight. Corwinn injures his son and Traix, having had enough decides to take the sword his daughter holds and use it to fight Corwinn. The ultimate battle! The mysterious man grabs Daxton and says they must leave before attention turns on them and the compass.
  10. Daxton decides he’s right but Barton, nursing his arm injury, won’t leave while Traix is fighting his father and Adelaide looks on in devastation. The Paragon is watching not the fight but Daxton in the distance and having had enough of the sword fighting causes Traix to miss his defense mark, giving Corwinn an easy opening to drive his sword into his chest. He’s as surprised as Traix is because both men knew Corwinn was losing. Daxton can’t believe what’s happened and neither can anyone else.
  11. A storm begins to form overheard, controlled by the Paragon who is coming out of hiding walking straight for Daxton. He sees this and grabs for Barton while the mysterious man grabs the still shocked girl and they begin to run. Corwinn in anger at having killed Traix when he knows it was because of the Paragon punches his lights out. The storm stops, everyone running away stops. Corwinn tells his son he’s sorry and tells them to keep on running and never stop.