When I first started writing Vendetta I wish I had an outline. I’m a true pantser at heart, but damn does an outline help.
When you outline you basically have the story laid out in front of you. I like to use index cards. I have a shit ton of extra poster board, so I cut it down into sections. Then I glue or tape all the scenes for one chapter in the piece of poster board. I find that works best for me, because I can see it physically and I can touch it. I’ve tried using scrivener, but it just doesn’t feel the same.
Having that done allows me to be way more productive, depending on the project of course. I still enjoy pantsing, and for some projects I feel that works best for me. You could feel the exact same way too.
However, I look at it like this, some of the most successful indie authors write at least a book a month. Most of those said authors also use outlining as a technique to become more productive.
Not only will you become a more productive writer, but you will also produce a story with less mess to clean up later. You would likely end up with a lot less plot holes than you would’ve if you had just pantsed it. That’s the beauty of an outline, that you know where your headed at all times.
This is something that doesn’t have to be super strict. You can always change things as you go. You also don’t have to write out a super long essay for each chapter or scene, sometimes all you will need are a few sentences.
When it comes to outlining your book ( or whatever else it is that you are working on) there are various options of how to do so.
Scrivener is a favorite by many, because you can do your outline and write your book all in the same place. Also it has built in character sketches that you can fill out to keep track of those pesky characters.
Index cards are another option, and I use this one over scrivener most of the time, but you can’t reuse them. However they are good if you like to be able to physically move scenes or chapters around.
There is also the Snowflake method. This one I’ve only heard mentioned. I’ve never messed with it, and to be completely honest I don’t really get it. But people use it.
There you guys go! I hope you enjoyed this post, but I have a question for you guys. How do you outline? Do you use one of the methods I listed, or do you have another way that gets the job done?