Why I Outline

On yesterday’s blog post, my friend Virginia at RosePoint Publishing made a comment about outlining or not (Plotting or Pantsing), so I thought I’d expand my thoughts into a post.

So obviously, I believe in outlining. I am of the school of thought that the more prepared I am the less likely I will encounter writer’s blocks, and the more likely I will have a sense of what I accomplish when I sit down to write.

The more I write/create, the more it affirms my need for an outline. My current book that I’m working on was outlined, and yet I’ve still had to back and write more outlines for all of my ideas. That’s part of the need, as well. If I don’t write down my new ideas and put them cohesively where they need to go in the story, the ideas will slip away like ephemeral wisps. 😛

Outlining should, in theory, also require less revising than a book that is pantsed. Or so others say.  I believe you, others!

But with that being said, I do think I’ll write at least one story without an outline just to see what happens, and to say I did. I haven’t written without an outline since before I began taking my writing seriously.

Short stories are an exception. That’s because I usually have a concrete idea in place, and I don’t spend more than a day or two before I have it all out).

Part of the fun of no outline is the discovery of the story, similar to being a reader. Stephen King says he doesn’t outline, and he’s one of my heroes. Dean Wesley Smith has a book called Writing into the Dark that is about abandoning the outline. I might read that first.


One thought on “Why I Outline

  1. hey, garth, thanks for the shout out. this is a great debate point. was thinking NANOWRIMO is a proponent of writing with abandon, but know there are bunches of people that put in quite a bit of effort prior to the start of kick-off. guess it depends on how detailed the outline…I found I spent time on it could have just been writing. I can see your point about reducing the time in editing or revising!

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