Why I Love To Write #018 – The Outline

It took a lot of living before I figured out that I needed a clear plan and a logical trajectory if I wanted to get anywhere deliberately. It’s hard to say what kind of life I would be living if I hadn’t gone through so many purposeful changes, or if I wasn’t still pursuing the next purposeful change. Setting up a system for self-improvement is a good way to learn to write an outline, it turns out.

When I wrote my first book, I did not use an outline. The next undertaking required that I employ one, for a number of reasons. This is a point I would like to stress before some writers drift away: the need for an outline is more determined by the story than it is by the author. The second point is that any author can benefit from outlining, as can any story. The only reasons to not use an outline is because the author doesn’t feel like using one, or doesn’t know how. They’re not good reasons, but they are reasons. Now let’s look at some of the reasons why outlines benefit the author, especially the author who is or may become interested in taking things to the next level. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #018 – The Outline”

The Outline; Friend or Foe?

This is the first of a series of blog posts about writing and self-publishing that Jay has written for the Sudden Insight Publishing blog. Enjoy!

There was a brief online discussion the other day during which I was asked if I use an outline when I write. I couldn’t be my wordy self at the time, and gave a brief response. Then I got to thinking about it, and I realized it might have helped me to have a little insight into the outline phenomenon before I started writing books. Although I’m not some hugely accomplished writer, self-publishing two books and the better part of a third has seen some real changes in my process. Among them: meeting the outline.

My first book, “Stumbling Backasswards Into the Light”, was never intended to be a complicated story with lots of character development and plot twists. I saw the scenes play out and I wrote them down. It was like watching a movie that I could pause and rewind but not fast forward. I labored over that book way more than I needed to, but an outline would not really have helped much. The book ended up being just what I wanted it to be, a guide for those beginning to ask questions about the nature of life and an engaging reminisce for those who have been asking such questions for a long time. Continue reading “The Outline; Friend or Foe?”