Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What’s in an Outline?


Do you prefer to have a detailed outline when working on a new story? Or maybe you prefer to fly seat-of-your-pants? I suppose I’m somewhere in between myself.

I’m working up an outline for a new story, but at the same time I’m chomping at the bit to get to the meat of writing that first draft. In some ways it’s a pleasant conundrum, but I often find myself beset by two internal forces competing for my attention: on the one hand I know from experience that a well-crafted outline really makes the story better from the very beginning, but at the same time I never want to inhibit the raw inspiration of creativity when it actually decides to show up.

So how do you balance these two opposing virtues of the writing process? Do you give in more to a well-planned plot or do you prefer to allow a more organic form to take over? Perhaps a blend of the two, but ultimately what works best for you?