Outlines -how they help; how they could hinder (A-Z blog)

Apr 17, 2015 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Okay, I feel I need to once again apologize to my English teacher friends, but I avoided outlining my novels because of the official outline rules...the Roman numerals and the precise spacing -- the concrete rule that you can't have a 1 without a 2 or an A without a B. For me, trying to put a creative novel inthat rigid of a structure...well it's like telling a creative person to try to "act normal and fit in" Sorry but that sounds absolutely dreadful. This past October,to get readyfor NaNoWriMo, my writing and accountability partner and I both did outlines to keep is motivated...and I fell in love with the idea of the outline...but MY outline. My outline still allows for wiggle room and changes (I consider it written "in pencil" to change as the story progresses...sometimes literally written in pencil). Having this asa guide keeps me from getting stuck. It keeps me focused because I know the fight has to happen around chapter 12 because there has to be a resolution around chapter 15 so the story can get to where it needs to be by halfway. Outlines keep me on track and make for a stronger story.


This is what my outline looked like for Driven West