Outlines and SuchA Lesson by Feary
A lesson about the value of outlines
What is an outline? Search it up on Google in your own time, but right now, I'm just going to sum it up with my words: An outline is a sketched-out plot for your novel.
Are outlines good? Yes, they are! How can they benifit you? You'll have less writer's block this way, because you know what's going to happen. You can use up a month of your writing time on outlines to save five months of annoying writing-your-first-draft when you don't even have a clue as to what's to happen next.
I highly recommend you to create an outline before you write your novel- don't just go off running with an idea of a single mother and her hardships, actually think about it. What hardships does she face? How does she overcome them? Does she overcome them?
Outlines will help you with all those questions and more. You'll definitely be glad you made an outline.
BUT. Yes, there is always a but. Do not let outlines restrain your creative writing! Just because you made her break up with him in the outline does not mean you have to do that in the novel! What if during your writing, you thought the idea of him being kidnapped just after they broke up? Feel free to write it out like that- in fact, I encorage you to! Then change your outline accordingly and continue with your novel.
NEVER let outlines stop you from thinking up of these ideas or making your characters do wacky things. An outline is just to help you, something to keep in mind to stay focused on the topic or message you're trying to write through. I write outlines and I only follow them when I forgot what's supposed to happen next.
For me, I create the characters, but in the end, it's them who controls the story. I would just write and write and suddenly words that I never even thought of start coming out of my pencil and onto the page, revealing an idea that took off...and I had no plans of doing that until I actually wrote it out! My little charries always run away with their actions and I have no choice but to follow them.
I write outlines, yes. Actually, the way I write outlines is a chapter at a time- I can never stand writing about a story for so long but not doing the actual writing. I mostly follow outlines, yes. But I do not let it restrain me. I let my imagination run wild and my novel loves me for that- and in a way, so does my outline. After all, my outline is very flexible and allows changes any time!
So write an outline! Use it to guide you! But never let it restrain you.
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Added on March 26, 2013
Last Updated on March 26, 2013
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