Here is the age old question, and you will seriously find strong opinions on both sides of this spectrum.
You have to outline or your book reads like you don’t. You go off on wild tangents. Or you have to let it free flow or it reads like an instruction manual. I think I’ve about read every article that lists pros and cons to both.
I’ve tried to be an outliner. Planning my story down, and I find shortly into it I give up. I’m finished with the book before I’ve even gotten started. My brain whirls, and I hate the whole process. I’ve thrown more books away by trying to plan them out, than I can imagine.
I also have friends that plan down to the tiniest details before they’re ready to go. Which works amazing for them. They are able to kick out books at their own rate once they know everything.
After all of this I’ve come to the conclusion like everything else that comes with following your creative flow this too is one of them. It’s no different than what time of day you’re the most creative, and can work. There are no set rules for any bit of it. There have been great successes and failures on both sides of the spectrum. I say lets all work the way we do, and what works for you might not work for your friends.
I’m not a horribly organized person, but I tend to jot down a overview plot line. That’s great enough for me. My friend details out every tiny bit until they are sure they know every nuance of their story, and that works great for them.
This all feeds back to the saying, ‘There are rules to writing, only nobody knows them’. Like all creative lifestyles it’s a matter of what works for you. Invent your own personal rules, and follow them, but don’t forget. Your rules work for you, not necessarily your friends. So in light of it all just remember everyone has opinions, and to quote my father, ‘Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, and some stink’.
Follow your own methods to writing that novel, and remember…..
L.O.L. (Live It, Own It, and Love it!)
Until next time.