Make an Outline… or Don’t.

I. Making outlines is helpful to some writers.

  1. Depending on what I’m writing, I actually write outlines.
    1. Not always, because they can be cumbersome and a waste of time if I choose to format them.
  2. Outlines help organize your thoughts.
  3. They also make it easier to see the pacing of your fiction.
    1. If you notice most of your chapters have five events, but one chapter has sixteen… well… you know which one needs to get cut up and made into separate sections.

II. I believe in three types of outlines: pre-production, peri-production, and post-production

  1. A pre-production outline is one you compose before you begin writing.
    1. It helps you to organize your thoughts and to set-up your writing for better flow.
  2. A peri-production outline is one you compose while you write.
    1. It lets you keep track of where you’ve been with your writing so that you can check what you’ve already covered when you hit a rough spot.
  3. A post-production outline is one you write after you begin writing.
    1. I often do this after I’ve finished chapters.
    2. I guess I make a peri/post-production outline of my fiction.

III. You don’t need to write an outline.

  1. Yeah, they aren’t required.
  2. It’s pretty much whatever you want to do.
  3. You know how you work.
  4. If you need more organization in your life and a good way to keep track of your longer work without having to read it over and over and over again-then make an outline.
  5. If not then don’t.
    1. Simple as that.

IV. I swear they’re helpful.

Published by J. M. Tuckerman

J M Tuckerman is a New Jersey-based writer, blogger, and podcast talent. Tuckerman holds a BA in Writing Arts, an MA in Writing, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She is a proud dog mom, cat mom, archer, wife, and passionate book wyrm.

%d bloggers like this: