Friday, May 15, 2015

To Outline or Not to Outline

When I started my book last summer, I had a spark of an idea and just started writing.  I didn't plan anything out or outline it.  I just wrote and wrote and let the idea develop as I went along.  Other than the fact that I decided to change the direction halfway through, which resulted in chopping out 30,000 words, the process worked well for me.  I liked being surprised by my characters and the direction the book took. 

However, in my post-novel writing research, I learned that this method is not very common.  Most people outline their novel first.  They know who all the characters are and the twists and turns the book will take before diving into the writing.  Huh.  Interesting concept.  The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced to try writing my next book this way.  It would be nice to already know the basic plot, and just let the details fill in along the way.

So a week into writing book #2, I already have a basic outline and most of my synopsis done.  I'm still getting used to such a different process, but I'm enjoying it.  I'm also hoping that it helps speed up the actual writing process. 

How do you approach writing a novel?  Are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person, or do you outline it all at the beginning?  I'll let you know which I prefer once I'm done with book #2!