Outline

Yes or no?

hipstermoose

I’ve asked a lot of writers this question, many accomplished and many not.

It’s a fifty-fifty split, roughly. The writers who use the outline tend to need it. The writers who don’t outline tend to despise the idea.

I was of the latter ilk until recently. I’ve rewritten my book three times. No outline. I don’t think the “no outline” is working for me. I’m not getting crazy with bullet points or roman numerals. I’m paraphrasing what happens in each chapter. This has helped me flush out the story, which is what I struggle with. I can write pretty sentences and compelling scenes, but they never go anywhere. The outline helps me figure out how to move the story forward, find plot holes, character flaws, keep track of characters and make sure that all the moving pieces are where I want them. It’s a helpful tool and I think it will give me more freedom to write the story without worrying if the story is working. I’m sure an editor will eviscerate it someday, but at least I’ll feel good about handing to and editor.

prisoneroftheoutlineIt’s not fun for me to write an outline. That’s a problem. I like things that are fun and I don’t like to do things that are not fun. Christ, I rewrote my novel three times instead of tackling the outline. The word, “outline” makes me cringe. It’s simplistic, I know. It’s a difficult truth that I must face. Learning how to do the not-so-fun stuff is what separates the hobbyist from the professional. I’m learning, and I like to learn.

4 thoughts on “Outline

  1. Your pic makes me think that your novel is a villain. You’ve lost the joy. I suggest putting it aside, tuning up the winter equipment and looking for a few sweet waves before the weather turns foul.

    Liked by 1 person

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