Outlining Methods Part 3: The Promise of Plot Points

In part one and two of this series, we’ve explored methods of finding and capturing inspiration as you build an outline or refocus your draft. This final step is simply putting that inspiration together into concrete events that you can anticipate and work towards. Whether you are a plotter or a pantser, this step is a fantastic way to maintain your drive and vision as you begin drafting. Continue reading “Outlining Methods Part 3: The Promise of Plot Points”

Outlining Methods Part 2: Finding Both Your “Big” and “Little” Story

In my last post, I showed how outlining is an important tool for plotters and pantsers alike, and explored my first outlining method: Capturing Inspiration. Immersive images and music can help you remember what made you love this book idea, even when you’re in the trenches of drafting. Now, let’s move on to the next two components. While Pinterest and playlists bring the “feel” of a book, these next two components bring to life what makes a book truly worth writing. Continue reading “Outlining Methods Part 2: Finding Both Your “Big” and “Little” Story”

Outlining Methods Part 1: The Myth of Plotter Vs. Pantser, and What That Means for Your Next Book

It took me some time to claim my love of outlining. I had a close friend whose greatest epiphany was that she was a pantser (a writer who finds her greatest creativity when she skips the outline and goes straight to writing). Hearing her whoop with each outline she tossed overboard convinced me that outlining was a creativity-draining force of evil. Imagine my surprise when, years later, I had my friend’s same epiphany–except backwards. I realized I found my greatest creativity by starting with an outline. I was a plotter.

Now, this may be sparking a thought for you–to outline, or not to outline, that is the question. But before we get too existential, let’s take a step back. As I’ve talked with other writers who identify as pantsers or plotters I’ve seen that these terms have brought up a false dichotomy. In reality, we all benefit from doing some of both. Continue reading “Outlining Methods Part 1: The Myth of Plotter Vs. Pantser, and What That Means for Your Next Book”

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