Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your holidays were as good as mine. So we’re back on the Writing Tip train today.
Chapter outlines are not one of my favorites, yet they’re essential. If you have a strong grip on your story from the start, that’s great. They serve as an excellent guide to writing, maintain continuity, and keep things moving. However, I’ve found that sometimes I simply don’t know what is going to happen until I get there, based on what goes on in the previous chapter.
I tend to develop strong characters who take over and virtually tell ME what will happen next. Thus, I often write the outline in parallel to the book, or modify it along the way if things take a different turn. They’re always a handy way to keep track of story action when you don’t write the story chronologically.
I write in layers. I’m always thinking of other details to add, a better way to say something, or a new plot twist which means I have to go back and add it. Knowing where to find it is much easier with a chapter outline that tells me where that particular scene lies.