Essential features but not the detail

This year I am writing a novel.

Today I am going to share with you something about my writing method during this process. I have gotten myself into the habit of writing my chapters based on a chapter outline. So, when I finish writing a chapter I take a few minutes to jot down what I need to cover in the next.

As I was writing this last chapter I found myself looking at the post-it note that held my chapter outline and back at the computer screen that was sitting at about five almost six pages of writing. My outline consisted of a handful of words, “the holder, who is home and where did the others go, story of his family’s death and the breach.” I paused to wonder how those few words had grown into almost six pages of writing then I took a moment to appreciate the process and turned back to the keyboard.

Do you use an outline? What does it look like? Is it the same format every time?

By Shari Marshall – 2021

2 thoughts on “Essential features but not the detail

  1. Hi Shari.
    I wish I could say I use an outline because it appeals to my sense of being organized but in fact, I rarely do.
    Most of my stories are shorter so outlines aren’t as needed but still, they would help I think.
    But what happens is an idea, a middle first, followed by a beginning and end then that much loops in my mind until I’m ready to outline, but end up writing instead. Misc derails are discovered as I write and often new fun distractions appear along with stylistic ways of saying things. This method would fail for a real novel but I’m not there yet.

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    1. Sounds like you outline very well in your head and I think that is a very important part of the writing process. I do the thinking thing as well but with this first time longer piece of writing I am needing the post-it note to bring it out of my head so I don’t forget. I think it is so interesting the way we all work through of writing.

      Thanks for stopping in Gary!


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