Why I Outline Last

Nanowrimo
Every writer builds the foundation for their novel differently, and most of us do it a little differently every time we attempt to write a novel. Some writers start with an almost fully formed plot and write their outline while still trying to figure out the characters' histories and the setting's climate. Others start with characters who won't leave them alone. A select few start with an interesting world. Every one of my novels starts differently, but I almost always outline last. Some years I've barely outlined at all before Nanowrimo got started. Why do I outline last? The first reason is because I consider outlines to be loose guides rather than something I'm going to follow to the letter. I expect my novels to grow and change as I write them,…
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Creating an Outline

Inspirational, Nanowrimo, Writing
Even if you only have the most basic story, it's important to create an outline. Being able to see your story visually will give you a better idea of where you need to add details, events and subplots, and if you leave enough space you can write in new things as they happen. Having the outline handy while writing can also remind you what you're writing next after a particularly exhausting scene or prolonged break. As November is almost upon us, it's time to create your outline. For the purpose of this exercise, I'm going to assume that you know something about your story's beginning, middle and end, but not much about what happens between those three points. If you're starting completely from scratch, start here. If you're still here,…
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