Sunday, 19 July 2009

Working from Outline

It is the first time I have started a novel draft after completing almost full outline. So far I have found it to be a positive experience. Without outline, I usually wrote whatever scenes came to mind, which was fine in terms of inspirational writing, but caused a havoc when it came to putting everything together. Finding gaping holes in a middle of the story is the worst thing, and I usually end up re-writing the whole thing from scratch, so having a direction from outline, I know where I am supposed to go next. No doubt, there will be some changes, and there are things that can't be worked out in outline so they might change the story, but I believe that having an outline is still a very good, crucial step. One just has to remember that it is just an outline, not something set in stone. So if needs to change, then it should. Do you create outlines for your books? Or do you find you work best without them?


  1. My "outlines" are more like scene notes, and I create most of them as I write. I do a detailed plot synopsis first, so I know where I'm starting, what the goals are, and what some of the scenes will be (in vague terms). Then I plug them into my yWriter program, and after each scene is written, I plan out or revise the plans for the next couple of scenes. That way it's constantly changing and evolving, but I have those beginning notes to refer to along the way.

    I never used to plan anything - just wrote what came next. Then I tried editing a draft I'd written, and decided that at least some sort of outline was necessary for me to be able to edit and revise the finished draft with any kind of efficiency. ;-)

  2. Jamie, interesting method. But do you find it ever distracts you or breaks the flow if you stop after one or two scenes? When I plan, I tend to ramble a lot, and spend a lot of time, so if I kept doing that during the book, I would never finish it.

    Actually, I had the same problem as you. I didn't use to plan either, and found that editing was hell. I have got a WIP I wrote without planning. I was looking at it today, and it will need a complete re-write. All 120K words. But that will be next project.