To Outline or Not to Outline: That isn’t the Question

Larry Brooks at Write to Done posted an article, Solved: The Outlining versus Organic Writing Debate. Writers for and against outlining their novels are missing the point, Brooks contends.

Larry Brooks at Write to Done posted an article, Solved: The Outlining versus Organic Writing Debate. Writers for and against outlining their novels are missing the point, Brooks contends. Structure is what matters. Be sure to give it a read.

For myself, I am in the organic camp. I have an aversion to outlining because I procrastinate well enough and outlining is another distraction. Brooks’s point on structure is well taken and recently I have been warming to the idea of outlining afterall. I so enjoy writing without preconceived ideas of where to take the story moment to moment. I discover more about characters and feel free to let them take me down alleyways. They may lead nowhere or somewhere.

Of course there is underlying direction in my head and I have to get there if there is ever to be an end to the writing. Outlining would help with ensuring that themes, plots and revelations unfold at the right time. Also, my understanding is that outlines have utility for more than just the writer. Literary agents and/or editors have need of outlines for the novels they are representing. They aren’t reading the manuscripts as readers, but as professionals with deadlines and way too much on their desks.

I just want to finish up the current and next chapters before I re-examine the novel’s structure.

What do you think of outlining and Brooks’s article?

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