Thinking/Re-thinking Novel Outlining…


“Enter the writing process with a childlike sense of wonder and discovery. Let it surprise you.”
–Charles Ghigna

And that’s precisely what I think about how the process is or how it feels when writing–writing in any genre. I like working in many genres–poetry, novel, playwriting, and perhaps, in the future, writing a screenplay. There’s nothing like discovering new things and ideas from writing; and that’s why I think this book, if maybe outlining hasn’t been a fan of yours, works. I’ve worked with outlines and without them. I find this book Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland a really good source in helping writers write better stories. It offers the benefits and misconceptions of outlining prior to writing a novel.

I like Chapter 6 “Character Sketches, Pt.1,” which makes you feel like you haven’t hit an iceberg and you can begin to see a prequel of the novel. I also really like Chapter 7, “Character Interviews Pt. 2,” which provides an effective template that scrutinizes profiling characters, so that you almost can never know enough about your characters. Continuing questioning your characters, I think, is key for developing them.

I’ve written with and without outlines. Sometimes I’ve started writing just a paragraph with no direction and come up with an idea, working that idea into a few more pages and then structuring more with an outline. Overall, Weiland’s book is a really good source for writers who have been stumbling or struggling with outlines and needing to organize ideas instead of throwing their novel out the window.


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