Outlining. Haha! I’ve only used outlines for school projects. I never really cared for them then and I’m not particularly fond of them now. I do use them though. It’s never a full outline. I only outline information I need to keep track of. Sometimes in my writing I get to a certain point where there’s so much information that I need to keep track of what’s happening now and how things will happen a little ways down the road. That’s because the story starts getting a little sticky and it’s already intricate as it is.
With that being said, I might start out outlining chapter one and two only. Or I might start writing the first few chapters and later on, because of new incoming information, I’ll decide okay I need an outline to map this out until chapter so-and-so. Once I get to a certain point where I don’t need the outline anymore, I’ll just write from there.
But as far as outlining first and then writing the novel, I’m not the person for that. Another reason for that is because then I feel like I have to follow that road map even when I know I don’t have to. Plus, I like being able to just start writing and see where things end up. I can always outline later if I need to. And anyway, in my case, things hardly stay on the original track. That’s why I only outline what needs to be outlined when I need to outline.
Now I’m not saying outlining is bad because it’s not. In fact one of the purposes I like about outlining is seeing what information is going to go where and how much of that information needs to be revealed at certain times. It’s about orchestration. So to that respect I do like outlining. But don’t ever ask if you can see mine. It won’t make much sense in the end 🙂 unless I’ve outlined a good portion of the novel. Usually it’s only a few chapters though.
So before I go let me just sum it up with this: I’ve learned that outlines don’t have to be done from beginning to end. They only have to help you remember what it is you’re doing and when to do it.