The Cub Scouts of America earn a belt loop for master the Map and Compass requirements. Its more than just learning how to use these tools; this belt loop signifies that the scout has the skills to know where he’s going and how to get there. The writer undertaking a novel needs the same skills when embarking on his story. Novels follow several very general lines of construction, mixing and matching them more often than not. Strictly outlined stories have all the action and character points laid out before the story even begins. Some stories set goals that the characters need to accomplish in order to progress the plot. Character-driven stories rely on their characters to provide the bulk of the plot development.