Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm late with my posting today. I have been deep into my WIP all day and only now have stopped to blog. I made real progress, too.

I was wondering how many of you outline? I started my current WIP without an outline, but I did have a vision of where it was going and of course I had a character chart, too. How many of you do character charts? I love doing them. They help me to know my characters, really know them. Hair color, favorite foods, movies, music, that sort of thing.

But I don't like outlines. I was thinking about starting with an outline on my next manuscript. I'm not even sure how to go about doing one. There are so many different ways to do them. Any advice out there would be very much appreciated. Has outlining worked for you? Why or why not? Thanks for reading. :)


  1. I'm an outline person, although I usually only make profiles for minor and secondary characters so I don't get them mixed up.
    I do a very informal 3-act outline. I write three to five paragraphs about each third of the book, breaking them off, respectivally, with the first "doorway of no return," the "second doorway of no return," and the climax. If I feel I need it, I'll do a couple paragraphs of denoument.
    Another way that I've used is the "ten scene" outline, where I list my ten major scenes and write one to two paragraphs about each. I don't like this one as much, and I ended up combining it witht he three act structure.
    When I outlined my current WIP, I did a chapter-by-chapter deal, although it took FOREVER. If you just want a basic "this is where I'm going" then you should try the three act.
    Hope that helped a little! :D

  2. I don't outline in any traditional sense of the word. I might put together a page of notes to help me figure out where the story is going and what stops it needs to make along the way.
    And I don't do character sheets with any consistency - but I really should.

  3. HATE outlines! In the past, before I realized how much I hated them, I would figure out the hook, key conflict, and cliffhanger for every chapter. But once I figured that out...why bother writing the book? ;)

    PS: So glad to see the ms. is coming along well! Can't wait to see it!

  4. Thanks for the help, Jenna! :)

    Christine, the reason I asked was your post on revisions. It made me wonder if outlining is the way to go! :)

    Beth, Uh that real progress was on an earlier chapter. I'll let you decide about 19-22 when you read them. :)

    Thanks Litgirl01, Did Beth give you chocolate to say that?? Hehehehe :)

  5. I like The Snowflake Method (just google it), but I only use parts of it. I have very loose outlines, and like to keep them fluid because I need direction, but want freedom to create the story as it comes. Good luck! Every writer is different. You just have to experiment and find out what works for you.

  6. Thanks Lady Glamis. I'll google it. I do want something loose because my characters need freedom to go where they go, you know?


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