Dramaquill's All Things Writing

March 1, 2012

Writing a Novel: Outline or Not?

Filed under: Writing — dramaquill @ 1:15 PM
Tags: , , , ,

 Arts Blogs - Blog Top Sites Bookmark and Share

Yesterday I finally had the pleasure of getting back to work on my second suspense novel, a sequel to my first book, “When Love Won’t Die”. It’s been quite a while since I looked at the project as a whole, rather than tweaking a couple of chapters to submit to my critique group.

I learned a lot from writing the first novel. This time, I had a general set of plot points and a series of events already in mind before I began Chapter One. I already knew my characters quite well as most of them made an appearance in the first book.

But this time, I decided to outline each prospective chapter before actually writing the entire story. This has certainly come in handy since I had to take a considerable hiatus from my indepth work on this project and the chapter by chapter outlines I have recorded in a notebook now remind me not only of the story’s direction but also how I want to interweave certain characters’ circumstances together and also the layers of sub-plots I intend to use in the sequel.

I’ve never really had a big problem just starting a story and letting it unfold as I write it but I believe that by doing the task of outlining first, every aspect of this second book will become stronger because I have taken the time to really think things through first. That doesn’t mean I’ll be rigid and unwilling to change things from my outline. It just means that I have a clearer direction this time.

Suspense novels need to have a build-up of tension to keep the reader interested, but more than that, each incidence must evolve out of something else and by doing an outline, I believe that the evolution in this sequel will be more believable and more exciting because of it.

Do you outline your novels? What are the Pros and Cons? Try answering this before you start work on your new book and see which side you end up on?



  1. I will be at the front of the line when the sequel comes out. You still have some hard work ahead of you, but you are no stranger to hard work.

    Comment by David — March 1, 2012 @ 1:27 PM | Reply

  2. Hey David – thanks for the positive, encouraging words. I definitely think you’ll enjoy the sequel, with its new twists and turns. Thanks for commenting and for your ongoing support.

    Comment by dramaquill — March 1, 2012 @ 2:53 PM | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Talk to me - what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: