To Outline or Not to Outline

I’ve read a number of articles for and against the use of outlines to write a story.  Brian Klems of Writer’s Digest says to trust the fluidity of the process.  He quotes Steven King’s book On Writing, which says plot is the good writer’s last resort.

Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method, on the other hand, is very rigid, a structure with a detailed outline procedure.

And I’m sure there are many others on every part of the spectrum.  Regardless, the way you design a literary work should be individual.  My method is to free write as far as I can go, and then sift through the draft to find the story.  Then, I use Ingermanson’s method to organize my thoughts.

Last post, I talked about the Scene/Sequel approach.  I like to use it to make a mini-outline of each chapter, and then move forward from there.  

Regardless of which way you choose, to me, the most important outline is done after you complete the chapter.  Consider the organization and content on each page.  Is there a hook at the end of each chapter?  Is there some kind of problem and resolution?  Having an outline makes editing easier. So my vote is yes, use one.

About monicamynk

I'm a Christian, wife, mother, and high school science teacher, and author of the Cavernous Trilogy and Goddess to Daughter Series.

Posted on January 9, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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