Tuesday, October 28, 2014

To Outline or Not to Outline

I'm currently in a discussion on linkedin about whether or not to work from an outline during National Novel Writing Month.

As I mentioned in my last post, I like to have something to get me started in the right direction. I think it's important, especially during the early stages of NaNoWriMo, to make it as smooth as possible. It's easy to stumble that first week. And while Nanowrimo is cutting loose and letting the words flow, you don't want them flowing in all different directions.

I noted on the Linkedin discussion that I will work off a sketchy outline. I won't have a detailed outline, only the basics that will provide the prompts to continue on course.

As I've said in other posts, once I get into the flow of the story, the characters take over for the most part. But I generally return to the outline to make sure it will end in a logical way. Nanowrimo also has discussion groups on how to approach the 30-day writing marathon.

The Purdue University OWL (Online Writing Lab) site provides useful information that you can incorporate into an outline. I've found it a useful place to go because of the advice, tips,  and rules of writing it offers on many levels (I was first introduced to it when I was working on a master's degree in special education and writing lots of papers).

Back to the outline.

Until the next time...

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