Here’s what I like about having an outline:
1) Comfort. If I forget what’s supposed to happen next, it’s right there in my outline.
2) Knowing I have a purpose.
3) Better foreshadowing in the first draft.
4) Did I mention comfort? I feel a tad less crazy and scattered when I have one.
5) Screwing it up. I can mess around with the outline, and have all the pieces right there for me to rearrange.
Here’s what I like about NOT having an outline:
1) Freedom. Not everyone can write without knowing where they’re headed. But I love it. It’s thrilling and scary.
3) Oh, outline, you may take our lives, but you will NEVER TAKE OUR FREEDOM!!!!!
What I usually do it sketch out a nebulous blob of an “outline.” It hits on the main scenes that have already formed in my mind, and they’re in a basic order. It doesn’t matter too much how I get from one to the next, so they’re more like lodestones, drawing the plot slowly together and allowing for character choices to determined the exact path. They tend to look something
(NOTES FROM MORGEN’S WAND, a novel I wrote about three years ago.)
– Morgen finds wand, needs to be confused about source, reality.
– sexy meeting with wild hunt (you know you want it!)
– Teague is going to try and eat her (don’t forget about his tattoos!)
– after funeral there will be a pagan memorial with foreshadowing of the zombie thing
– zombie thing – that isn’t runnning water! Oh, and Teague gets to whine about the old days, recount deal with wand.
– Death Usher. Take Wistan.
– Morgen MAKES CHOICES!!! No, really. Tell big bad faeries to stick it where the sun don’t shine. (only, don’t be cliche)
– Jason’s memories of early wild hunting. thought were angels, and painted his face with his father’s blood.
– make bargain with hunt, go on own hunt. Rose and Malcolm here, follow Morgen. (Maeve like Barbie Amazon remix, Brag a silent king)
– Morgen learns about iron the hard way. (railway spike? is there a way to make this happen logically?)
– stabby-stab-stab! Mayhem!
– Jason panics, summons hunt
– Morgen sooo dead. But for how long? (wand = Gawain’s sword!)
– wand shattered
– Brag’s blood to bring M back from Death – will this change her at all, seeing as how he’s a goblin and all?
– Everyone wishing for HEA, but unable to imagine what that would look like.
– Mal flees, leaves Rose.
– Brag = x_x
– Maeve killed about 23 people, which always makes her happy
– Morgen has answer, understand she = wand, not piece of wood. doesn’t like answer. Hahaha!
– Jason, hopefully will know when arrive.