Pre-Planning Your Writing

By: Ebonye Gussine Wilkins

How do you pre-plan your writing? Do you pre-plan your writing at all?

It’s a question to think about. A long-time author once told me (well, truthfully, a room full of people) that writing without a plan is the equivalent of taking a road trip without a map. You know where you are beginning, you know where you want to end up, but you have no idea how to get there. Inevitably, you will get lost.

When some members of the group seemed distressed by this advice, she added that you didn’t have to stick completely with your outline (the outline was the method she suggested to help get a structure for our writing). It is a guide. It is intended simply to help you get to the destination. You can take as many detours as you want.

Personally, I don’t really like outlines for writing. But I am also the only one I know who doesn’t use an outline.

That being said, I have started using OneNote to jot down ideas that I am considering putting into my novels. I take a long time to actually write my novels, but I don’t like to forget important details, since my mind moves so quickly (that, and my short-term memory is questionable at times). It’s a new method that I’m working with, but when you decide an idea for a novel that won’t be written for a while, it’s not a bad idea to write down your thoughts.

Do you use outlines? Do you pre-plan your writing in any other way? Let us know in the comments!

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