Blog powered by Typepad

« Blog Short Story Project | Main | Don’t Try and BS Me - Know Your Shit or Expect Someone to Call You on It »


Well, if you're with NAL, you HAVE to produce an outline. So that pretty much makes it a moot point.

I like to start a book with a general, broad outline - like knowing who the killer is and what the conflict is and a few things along the way. I really don't want to see too far down the road, and I put off some of it for a long time. So I start writing. I outline the next several scenes as I go along, which I got from Elizabeth George's WRITE AWAY. And then, if I have to produce the outline, I start really getting into it and it becomes quite detailed. (20 pages single-spaced).

So I guess you can say I don't outline and I do outline. ;)

I'm an outliner, but not because of deadlines. I am by nature a big-picture person. The more bogged down I get in details, the more confused I get! So having an outline lets me keep the book in perspective.

I don't outline short stories, though. Those, I have found, are actually hurt by outlines. It's a good compromise between the two schools of thought - for me, anyway.

An outliner, definitely!

Ooh, you're outing me too? How's that work?

Like Jake, I'm a half-outliner. I know whodunit, why, and the 8 10 major plot points. How I get there? Who knows. Usually I can't write a decent synopsis until the book is done either.

This last book I wrote in record time (a romance) was completely outlined - seven pages worth. And WOW, it's made such a huge difference, that I'm officially becoming an outliner.

I usually don't like to outline, but I had to do a short proposal for this fourth book, and I have to admit that it's helped as I'm writing. Granted, things are happening that I didn't expect while writing the proposal, but I at least know where I'm going and sort of how I'm going to get there.

I outline. I start with the tentpoles and work out from there. I also write long synopses of each major character's motivation, a full explanation of whatever the crime or scheme is, and although I usually don't write this down, I can tell you birthdays, education, church-attendance and taste in music.

But everything is liable to change.

I'm an outliner too, Karen. Thanks for coming out as one. I have outlined my way out of a pothole, and as soon as I do, my articles or book manuscripts (I write kid's books) are accepted without a whimper. It must be my brain (and yours and others).

It also calms me down. I'm excited to outline, knowing that all the details of my next idea are safely on paper and I can still tweak it, but at least it's out of my brain.

Great post and good vibes on your next project. Can't wait to read Trashed!

My "outline" fits on a 3 1/2 by 5 inch page. It's definitely barebones! I keep another page of things I need to tie up or address before the end of the book. (They usually surprise me during the writing, and I don't want to forget them.)

Or sometimes I write half, then outline the rest. Sometimes I just name the chapters, and that's my outline. :-)

The comments to this entry are closed.