Outlining vs. Freewriting

How do you write? Are you an outliner, who spends hours upon hours blocking out every scene of every chapter in your novel so that you know exactly where the story is going at every turn?

Or do you prefer to just "wing it", making the whole thing up as you sit in front of the computer?

Which is better?

Honestly, there's no right or wrong answer to this question. Everyone does it a little differently. From Brandon Sanderson to Stephen King, every author has his or her own way of developing their story. How do we at the Writers Ramble do it? Well, check the links below to find out what our personal preferences are and why:


Are you a Pantser?
By Josh Morrey
What's better? To plan out your story before you start writing? Or to just sit down and start typing, letting whatever happens, happen? I share the pros and cons of both practices, discuss how a few best sellers of our day tackle the question, and share my own habits in this post.

What Traveling Has Taught Me About Writing
By Heidi Wilde
However you are used to classifying these two creation styles they boil down to the same two categories. Do you like to plan out your novels and short stories or do you prefer to let your stories tell themselves?

To Pants or to Plan? That is the Question...
By Heidi Thornock
From bad experience, I have found that if I don't at least plan the major plot points along my storyline, my story is unfocused, which means it requires A LOT more work in revision. But if I plan every single detail, I lose a lot of the excitement of writing. So where's the balance?

Outlining or Free Writing: Finding he Middle Way
By Tom Abbott
I decided long before I ever wanted to try my hand at writing that I was definitely an outliner.  However, the more I wrote the more I began to realize that the term outliner didn’t describe me.  I don't identify with either side of this argument, really.  I approach my work in phases, and I use techniques from both both camps.  In truth, I’m more of a planner and a list-maker.

Outlining and Free-Writing: A Give-And-Take Relationship
By Rachel Johnson
I used to swear outlining wasn't for me until I learned a few things that have permanently changed my writing for the better: 1- Outlines don't all have to look the same; 2- A good outline helps to find holes in the plot; 3- Outlining can be used as an editing tool after the book is written. I discovered an outlining technique that gives me both structure and the flexibility that I need. Now I wonder how I ever lived without it.



1 comment:

  1. I like to have an outline for my writing- but I never used to like to have one. Now they help to keep me organized and I have realized the outline can be "rough" Great to hear everyone's thoughts. Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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