Writing Tips 2-1: All About That Outline

So the question is, do you need an outline? The answer is, yes. Great, we can go home? No? Well sort of.

Okay before I confuse you more, let me clarify this one thing. Most writers, sites, and other forms of helpful writing information will tell you that you need to write an outline before you begin. This just isn’t true. Now before I get any hate mail let me just say, that it is a good idea for you to do an outline, but there is nothing wrong with starting without one.

So Why Should You Outline?

Well, my friend, the answer to that is easy. Outlines give you a glimpse at the full story before you begin writing it. If done correctly, you can see the plot and the characters as well as see what conflicts will be involved with these aspects. This is super helpful because since you haven’t written anything yet and you see an error, you can fix it early on, which could save you from having to remove sections or chapters if you had already written them out.

So outlines can save you time in the future. It can give you direction early on and you can write feeling confident in where the story and characters are going. This is great for people who like to see the big picture before filling things in. In a way an outline is like the bones of a skeleton, waiting for the meat and skin to be added on next.

The Benefits of Not Doing An Outline

So now you are probably wondering this. Well, the great thing about this method is that you get to see your creative spark. Really, things just flow from your mind to the paper taking twists and turns, that honestly would never happen unless you were making portions up as you went.

This is whats great about this method. That flare that suddenly hits because you are in the moment. Maybe a plot twist or a character arch that you nor anyone else would have ever expected. My point is, don’t just assume you have to do an outline if it is going to kill your creative freedom.

This is for people who just can’t wait to start writing now. However, I would warn people who do not do outlines to at least consider (if even in their head) major plot points of the book. This at least will help keep you somewhat on the track as you place new tracks along the railroad for your story.

Also on another note, if you do this method, I would also suggest doing at least a rough outline once you create the first draft. This would help when you go back to your work and see where touchups or fixes need to be made. It will also help you expand on the lore and will benefit you immensely as you edit more and more.


I hope you found this week’s post useful. If you did leave a comment down below and happy writing everyone. Also, as this will likely be the last post before Christmas and the Holidays, I want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays!


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