Friday, Sep 06, 2013

(Craft) Good Reasons to Outline Your Novel

decisionWhen I face a major decision, I make a list of pros and cons on a sheet of paper. Then, I study my list to determine a course of action. This procedure applies to fiction writing as well. 

Today, I’d like to make a list of some good reasons for outlining your novel. After you read the list, you can decide for yourself whether or not you think it will be beneficial to you to outline your next story before you write it.

  • Structural Sanity.  By this I mean that your story will make sense. Your inciting incident and major plot points will occur at the right places. Your story will have balance and be well-paced. Your middle won’t sag, and your ending will be satisfactory.
  • Character Continuity. By this I mean that your story will allot the correct number of scenes to each point of view (POV) character. In an outline, you can readily tell if you have assigned too many scenes to a lesser POV character and not enough to your main POV character.
  • Foreshadowing Finesse. If you’ve ever written a story without an outline, you know what it’s like to go back and insert foreshadowing. Almost impossible. If not impossible, definitely a crazy-maker. When you outline before writing your story, however, you can deftly manoeuver your foreshadowing for logical motivation and maximum impact.

These are only a few good reasons to outline your story before you write it.  What other reasons can you think of?
Photo Source: Microsoft Clipart

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