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I have and I don't know yet - I've set it aside to re-read between Christmas and New Year's. Hoping it's in English and makes sense, but suspect I'll have to do some cutting. Curious to hear how you like your freer WIP!

I wrote three of my books without an outline, and while I didn't have an official deadline, I had a self-imposed one. I had a proposal only for Shot Girl, which is number four, and I will honestly say that most of the book looks nothing like the proposal envisioned it. I do much better without an outline, letting the story move along at its own pace and in its own way.

I have outline phobia, so I've never used one. I would actually like to be hypnotized and then have someone say "Shazam!" and then be able to outline without thinking about it.

I'm such a middle-of-the-roader, I have a sort-of outline and yet a large part of the book isn't outlined at all. But like Karen, at a certain point, I'd have to produce something for the publisher. I like Elizabeth George's way of outlining the next four to eight scenes, and having a general idea of what happens (who the killer is, what the climax might be).

I find that the extent of outlining or not outlining varies from book to book. I don't begin to understand it.

Great question, Alison. It's really neat to read everybody's responses to this, Jeff, Karen, Clean, and J. Carson.

I don't actually outline anything on paper, but I usually know the major plot points I'd like to reach before I get very far into a novel.

As long as I have those 2 or 3 major scenes in mind, I can fill the space between them.

I pretty much always write without an outline. I'll have a basic map for the story, but it's very character driven and for me, half the fun is the surprise of seeing the twists and turns unfold. I do "write towards" big key scenes, so it's not like there's no plan at all, but I am not even capable of writing a detailed outline for a book that doesn't exist yet.

No outline for book 2, a really crappy first draft, and no idea if it's turned out okay after all of the epiphanies and polishing.

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