I’ve never been a fan of outlining. But it’s not because I don’t think it’s a good idea to outline. Rather, I don’t want to do the work. Every time I sit down to outline my brain hurts. So why, you might ask, am I make myself outline now?

I hit a wall where the plot was not flowing right. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know how to fix it. Enter the outline. For the past couple of days I have been putting together a solid outline detailing the main scenes in each chapter. Doing this has helped me to get reinvigorated about my project because I am seeing ways to make it work. And since I have written it all down, I don’t have to remember the brilliant ideas I came up with.

The other advantage of outlining is that it is allowing me to realize which relationships/characters do not work. I am cutting plot elements and adding new twists and scenes that contribute to the over all movement of the plot. In short, I am finding ways to make my story the best it can be.

What do you think about outlines? Do you outline before you write, in the middle of the writing process, or do you avoid outlines at all costs?