Friday Fix (Craft): Does Planning Stifle Creativity?

One of the most common objections to planning or outlining one’s novel before writing it is that doing so stifles creativity.  Those who voice this objection view outlining as a limiting process rather than a freeing one.  Yet, if you don’t know where you are going in writing your story, you may not like where you end up.

So, should you plan first or write first?  The answer to that question is one only you can answer. But allow me to offer a few good reasons for planning your story before writing it:

1) Planning your story before writing it does not mean you cannot change things during the writing process.

2) Planning your story before writing it eliminates the need for extensive revisions after writing it.

3) Planning your story before writing it saves you time and often helps you avoid pitfalls like sagging middles and contrived endings.

What do you think?  Does planning stifle creativity or does planning release creativity?
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Copyright 2012 by MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

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