Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To Outline or not to Outline

I'm working on my second book (or probably third or fourth, I have a few unfinished manuscripts lying around) and I've written 50,000 words (not for NaNoWriMo because I started it in October), but now I'm debating totally re-writing it.

My normal writing style is to think about an idea, and plan it out in my head. I get the main characters' basic temperment and behavior decided and then let them take shape on the pages. However, when writing this one, one character evolved into a person I like so much, I want to change the plot to include him more.

Since I've already written a hefty amount, I don't want to write another 50,000 words and then scrap that too so I'm thinking of doing an outline (even though I'm not a fan).

My question to you writer friends is how do you begin crafting a new work? Do you create an outline first? Do you make lists of personality traits for your characters? Or are you like me and you just write and see where the story takes you?


CKHB said...

I normally just write and see where it goes, but I'm thinking that I'm going to need to start doing a little outlining... having a few notes about big plot turning points wouldn't get in the way of a character developing into something new, after all!

jjdebenedictis said...

I NEED to outline, or I can't get anything on the page.

That said, I usually just sketch out the dialogue, then launch into the scene. Things do evolve on the page, but I need the roadmap to get anywhere.