The purpose of outlining. Give me a minute. I'm thinking.
Near as I can figure the main purpose of outlining is to drive me stark raving mad. I hate it. I have never liked outlining: I will never like outlining. I find it a woeful waste of my time and energies.
There. I got that off my chest.
Now then, the purpose of outlining is simple. An outline gives you a map. More importantly, it lets you show other people the map to your work. You know, people like editors. Sure, technically what you show them is a synopsis, but the synopsis is made easier by having an outline.
I hate outlines, have I mentioned that? Never use the damn things. Well, not often. Sometimes though, like when I’m co-writing something with another author who likes to outline. Then the outline is a wonderful thing, especially if there’s a deadline involved and you and your partner in crime have to write simultaneously. Then you can discuss who has to writer what scene and go to town without all that waiting around.
Of course, if you work more like me, you have phone discussions, you meet for a meal, you exchange a few emails and then you do the exact same thing, but the idea of this article is to show how outlining can be useful. It can be useful. Make no mistake about that.
But the most important thing to remember about outlines, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that you are allowed to deviate from them. I DO outline, by the way. I just do it in my head. I prefer to avoid writing down anything unless it’s absolutely necessary. Once it’s written down, I’ve written it, you see. And that removes the need to write it again.
Yeah. Okay. I really don’t much find a use in outlining. I do it if I have to, but I have to, once again, agree with Jeffe (That happens a lot. It’s actually a little unsettling.) and point out that outlining, while useful to some, is a tool that you should use as you see fit.
And now, because I just love putting pictures on these things, I once again offer you the cover of SEVEN FORGES, because, you know, WORD-WHORE and this is the one coming up in the near future. It’s gonna be fun. I wouldn’t lie about a thing like that. Also, starting the sequel very soon.