Planning To Outline Your Novel? Don't | NY Book EditorsTo get ready for my first novel, I read lots of how-to books on writing novels, but they said some of the silliest things, including that I needed to have characters, plot, and dialogue. My first novel was historical, so after I completed all the research, and after I knew who my protagonists both narrators were, I wrote a detailed outline. Then I began writing the novel. I was shocked. I redid the outline, feeling pretty confident that no character would surprise me again. I redid my outline again. As you can imagine, I was beginning to get annoyed with my own characters.
How to Write a Novel without an Outline – Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith review
It seems an essential question to aspiring writers, who are eager to mimic the habits and behaviors of those they admire. You will hear writers tell you they never start until they have ten scenes plotted on a timeline and character sketches for all their primary characters. There are lots of degrees of plotting, planning and pre-writing, and for the newer novelist, extensive outlining can be helpful. There is nothing more comforting than having a road map when the going gets tough. But for writers striving to create something unique and surprising, the kind of work that will grab the attention of agents and editors, the thorough plotting and planning can be a matter of life and death. By that, I mean that planning your novel ahead of time increases its likelihood of being dead on arrival. But I just might mold some clay into a bowl without envisioning the end result.
Some writers cringe at the mention of such extensive planning, but outlining a novel is an important step. If you are struggling with the idea, it can be helpful to start with a novel outline template. They can be far less intimidating than starting from scratch. Outlining a novel is a part of knowing how to write a novel or how to write a book. Jumping directly into writing without taking the necessary steps will do nothing but slow down your progress and leave you frustrated.
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I envy those writers who outline their whole novel before they even begin chapter one. A little expansion here, a little fleshing out there. One scene leads to the next. But as J. A little wandering is likely to give the story a few surprise twists. Keep your premise firmly in mind as you write each scene. It may take you a hundred pages to truly discover where your story is going, but you should have a strong premise from page one, and each scene should build and deepen that premise in some way.