To Outline or Not to Outline . . .

That is the question.

Recently I was at a convention where I had the opportunity to talk to some amazing authors. I was even able to talk with Susan Dennard one-on-one for a while (she’s so sweet!). They were all very kind and had great advice.

One thing they talked about was outlining. The authors at the conference were pretty split on this issue. Some outline and some don’t. Personally, I didn’t outline my first novel. And now I’m in the middle of outlining my next one.

One thing I’ve learned about the process (from my own experience and from advice given by others) is that it IS helpful. I prefer to just write everything out and then go back and check on the details to make sure everything lines up and flows correctly. That’s what I like to do and that’s what worked on my first book.

Working on my second book, it was obvious there were too many details and small plot points to just write it all out. So now I’m working on the outline for book two and, as much as I absolutely loathe it, it’s going to help me in the long run I can tell.

Ultimately, I know it’s my choice whether I want to outline or not. And when you get down to it it’s about the same amount of time spent. Say I spend two days writing my outline. That’s about what it took me to go back through my first novel making sure I got everything correct. And the more detailed the book is, the more time I’ll spend going through to check it. Same with working on the outline.

Ultimately it’s your call if you want to outline a project. If you think you can do it without an outline go for it! It’s all about you being comfortable with your writing and molding your work into what you want it to be. If you think you can get there without an outline then more power to you!

I’m not sure if this was helpful or not. I’m not even sure it made much sense (I hope it did). If you found this helpful, great!

Just want to point out I will not be posting every day. At least, not once classes start back up. I don’t really think I’ll be posting on a regular basis. I only wanted to post this because I am currenly working on an outline and so the ideas are fresh in my mind. But I hope you don’t mind my weird as hell schedule once it starts up.

Okay that’s it! Back to outlining for me. Ugh 😦 Bye!



Author: In the Land of Pages

College Student & Author Sometimes I'll talk about music or my life but most of the time it'll be books, reading, writing & that sort of thing. Recommendations welcome anytime!

6 thoughts on “To Outline or Not to Outline . . .”

  1. As I studied the business of being an indie author, the two biggest factors in achieving financial success really popped out at me:

    1. Write what readers want to read.
    2. Wrote lot of those books that the readers want to read.

    I, too, pantsed my first novel. It was fun.

    What I discovered, though, is that it is simply more efficient to outline. More efficient = more books = more $$.


    1. I agree that it’s more efficient. I’m learning that now working on this project. But if I could go back and change how I wrote my first book, I wouldn’t. Because it gave me a different perspective and helped me gain a different experience as a writer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is helpful to outline sometimes but sometimes I have such a clear vision in my head of what is going to happen that I don’t get off track.


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