Organic or Mechanic

Question: Should we write and follow a detailed outline or should we write organically? Or both?


Whatever works best for you....

Some people need to have everything planned. They need to have charts and notes and diagrams and outlines and everything laid out exactly how the story is going to be built. They need the blueprint and specs, down to the detailed measurements. And if they have the skills, the house will be spectacular.

Some people don't like to stick to a schedule or an itinerary. They want to explore and be surprised and see where the journey takes them. And if they're good, it might be one hell of a trip!

Know yourself.

If you're a poor planner, don't try to outline and plan out the whole thing and fit your characters in pre-defined situations and tell them exactly what they should do...

If you don't appreciate spontaneity, don't try to wing it without a plan or outline...

Personally, I like to use both methods. I like to know where I'm going and what general direction I am taking. But I also like to be surprised -- I like it when my characters take me on a detour. It's unexpected and exciting. But eventually, I'd have to say, "Hey guys, we should get back on the highway soon if we want to get to the west coast." And I want to make sure that we don't end up in New York.


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