Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I’ve just passed this new law, posted the notice over my computer, and set some very serious consequences for even the smallest infraction. Why?

I’m so happy you asked…

My reasoning goes something like this…
  • Outlining is a thief.
It stills precious time away from the real work of a writer, which is writing.
  • Outlining is a dream killer.
Once completed, it stifles those dreamy scenes that fit nowhere within the outline’s projection. No matter how crucial an incidental dream, the snooty outline won’t recognize it as legitimate content.
  • Outlining is a fake.
It makes me think I’m jogging down the path at a brisk pace, when in reality, I’m just running in place. What I mean is, outlining makes me think I’m writing, but I have no page count.
  • Outlining kills characters.
An outline imprisons my characters, restricts their evolution, and stifles their growth. They are no longer free to rebel, take chances, contradict, or in some cases, assume the role of dictator.

I can rant on about this with an easy conscience because I write by mood, inspiration, and inexplicable insight. I also make friends with my characters very early in the story, assuring them that they are the real creators of their own tale. And then I grant them immunity…

If you're a different breed of writer and need the structure of an outline, then by all means, continue what works best for you. Isn’t that what all writers love about their own personal writing-world, they set the rules.

So how do you vote? Is outlining outlawed or sanctioned in your writing world?

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  1. Character outlines are sanctioned in my writing world, because it helps me figures out who my characters are and keeps track of all the details in their lives. Plot outlines are outlawed, since I ignored them when it comes time to write.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Ursula. It's always enjoyable to hear different points of view.

  3. I can't outline to save my life so... I'm with you! :)

  4. Hi Calisa,
    LOL...You and I are similarly challenged. We must be soul-mates. Thanks for taking the time to drop a comment.