111 or More Methods for Outlining your Story

Just in time for NaNoWriMo this year, an E4W masterpost to beat all my others.

There are as many methods for outlining, as stories created with or without an outline, but here is a masterlist of story templates, outlining techniques, narrative or plot devices, plotting or pantsing appropriate tools, and much much more.

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Welcome to thenerdisin’s sort-of-official guide to the competition season!

Disclaimer: I am part of a team that is exclusively in the regional system so I am not well-informed on how districts differ, but this should apply mostly.

Before the Competition:

-Get lots of sleep (really this goes for all of these categories, but its better to have a bit of rest under your belt before the late-night scouting meetings)

-Take a shower because smelly people in the pits/stands are nasty

-Read the manual (even if you know it by heart, its good to have a refresher on the rules, especially if you are on the drive team or in the pits)

-Pack ahead of time because you may be so excited to go that you forget important things if you pack the night before

-Arrange ahead of time with teachers if you are gone on a school day so that you have something to do when you inevitably can’t fall asleep the night before out of excitement, also, good grades are good.

-Look up the teams you will be competing with to see where they have competed or are competing because it is a good conversation starter and your scouting team will be proud of you. 

Important Stuff to pack:

-Band-aids for when your feet are exhausted from walking around because having blisters in the middle of competition is no fun. 

-Connected with Band-aids: A First-Aid kit because allergy medicine, ibuprofen, car-sickness medicine, etc. are nice to have and make life much better particularly in places that are unfamiliar.

-Earplugs because competitions are loud

-WATER, WATER, WATER (Just don’t put it in the drawer with the acetone) its important to stay hydrated and focused because your life and well-being is more important than your robot.

-Team Gear, this one is pretty self-explanatory because you ought to support your team

-Your pin collection (unless you’re a first-year at which point, get ready to have one!), also be careful going through airport security with this.

-Safety glasses because you need them for the pits and the pits are cool

-Watch to keep track of when lunch is and when your team is scheduled to play their next match. 

At The Competition:

-Talk to other teams about their robots. No matter what sub team you are on, there is something to talk with the other team about, just be careful not to bug them while they’re working because annoyed people are not fun to talk to and they want to win too. REMEMBER GRACIOUS PROFESSIONALISM. If you need to something to talk about, ask what their hometown is like.

-Drink water more than you think you need to.

-Make sure your mentors/a parent knows where you are for safety

-Keep track of your stuff


Watching from home:

-Read ChiefDelphi because many of the people will be commenting on the thread about your event, especially if it is a popular/large regional

-Scout teams from the online stream, you may have a unique perspective because you can see the inputs of people on Delphi and have a decent overview of all the bots.

-Don’t worry because its only going to be 2-4 days of this experience and they will come back too and you can brag that you don’t have to get up early after listening in to the scouting meeting via phonecall

-Brag to your friends that you get to be at home and get food and take naps whenever you want and can watch replays of the matches. 


-Have fun! Remember, as much as we love winning, have fun and don’t take anything overly seriously.

-Listen to the adults. They are there to help you and keep you safe. Nobody is perfect, so cut them a little slack.

-Be kind to others, don’t talk about them nastily behind their backs, and be GP.