How many of you make outlines beforehand?

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  1. nooser profile image61
    nooserposted 12 years ago

    I'm not a very established writer, but I try my best and write absolutely every day. Whenever I seem to hit writer's block or when I need to organize myself, I start off with an outline. How many of you do that and is it more beneficial than just winging it? Or how many of you just wing it and how do you like that?

    What kinds of things do you do to get out of writer's block?

    1. That Grrl profile image71
      That Grrlposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      For shorter posts I have developed a way of writing my outline as I research the idea and write it. But, it only works for short posts. I still finish and polish it and then proofread before I actually publish it.

      I have had less success when it comes to writing long fiction. I'm not patient and rush myself along rather than taking the steps to plan and outline. I know this has been my biggest hurdle in writing book length fiction. I've started working differently this year. I'm looking at outline software today actually. But, I'm not rushing myself this time. I found a book I like about writing your book in 90 days. Doing the outline is a big focus and she suggests writing your book scene by scene rather than starting with characters. This makes sense for me and how I write too.

      1. That Grrl profile image71
        That Grrlposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I don't really get writer's block. I have too much to write about. The problem is more likely to be choosing which projects to give time to in order to get the important ones done for deadlines.

      2. nooser profile image61
        nooserposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I completely agree with you on what you mentioned about not being patient. I'm the same exact way and I always have trouble moving the story along gradually. Because I know what's going to happen within any action scene, I'm too impatient to write about it.

  2. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 12 years ago

    Outlines are helpful. "Writer's block" may in fact be more a case of inexperience and learning the trade.

    1. nooser profile image61
      nooserposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Inexperience? But I've heard of very known authors and other writers who've experienced the same block.

      1. profile image0
        Website Examinerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        If you are an inexperienced writer, you probably are yet to understand what true "writer's block" entails. It is a psychological state that may leave the writer paralyzed for many months. I hope you will never go through that.

        Not knowing what to write for a few days has nothing to do with writer's block, even if it is often misrepresented as such.

        1. nooser profile image61
          nooserposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I doubt there's a 'true' version of it. I'm sure there are different opinions of it throughout the writer community. Your's is probably different than my own. I've certainly had artist's block for the past year or so.

          1. profile image0
            Website Examinerposted 12 years agoin reply to this


  3. profile image0
    Longhunterposted 12 years ago

    I've found outlining to be very helpful for a novel I'm working on that's about 65 chapters long. It helps me stay organized and to keep up with the flow of the book.

    It's really all a matter of what works for you personally. Once you've been writing a while, you'll find the right process but don't be afraid to change it up in needed.

    1. nooser profile image61
      nooserposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Outlining really does help me. But I guess you're right on your last statement. I'm curious to see what processes other people might use when it comes to their writing.

      1. profile image0
        Longhunterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        It really depends. I've written one childrens book and have started another. I might jot down a note if an idea comes to me but I haven't used outlining while writing either of these books.

        1. profile image0
          Website Examinerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          My compliments on your productivity and creativity!

          1. profile image0
            Longhunterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I'll pass your compliment on productivity on to my bride as she is the one that encourages me to write often, unlike my first wife who said I was wasting my time having never read a word I'd written.

            Half the battle of being productive as a writer and a family man or woman is the encouragement of a spouse. This is why my first book was dedicated to my bride when I published it back in December.

  4. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image84
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 12 years ago

    I never outline short pieces (anything up to 2,500 - 4,000 words long), but I've done outlines for longer pieces, such as fiction or my thesis. For shorter pieces, it's formulated in my mind after the research and there's no need for an outline

  5. Shanna11 profile image74
    Shanna11posted 12 years ago

    Despite being a college student and just graduating from a typical public high school, I have never written an outline in my life without being physically forced to. Last year my teacher about had a fit when I refused to turn in an outline with a long paper. I hadn't used one, and it was a waste of my time. I was so tired of having to make outlines that I personally did not need. I understood other kids needing and using them, but they were useless for me.

    I ended up getting a perfect score on the paper.

    I am, however, considering using outlines for my stories, simply because I tend to get to one point and get utterly stuck. Hmmm... maybe my teachers were on to something! Lol!

    1. nooser profile image61
      nooserposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      That's exactly what I do! I don't usually need to write anything for papers or essays, but when it comes to any of my fiction writing or simply long stories, I absolutely need something to keep me organized and on track.

    2. dungeonraider profile image85
      dungeonraiderposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      There's nothing wrong with winging it.  Many famous authors (John Updike comes to mind) frowned upon outline usage, for written works of any size.

  6. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 12 years ago

    Sure thing, Longhunter. Makes sense.

  7. LeanMan profile image80
    LeanManposted 12 years ago

    I tend to just write all of the capsule or section titles, it is then usually quite simple to write 150 to 250 words for each heading..

    It is also useful to just consider the 5W and 1H... What, When, Where, Who, Why and How as that can very quickly give you 6 section headings..

    Good luck however you try to do it..


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