Intermittent Outlines

Posted Sunday, 03/21/21

Writing outlines for "books in the works" has always been abhorrent for me. I find them particularly difficult and unnecessary for the most part. However, many years ago when I worked with Raphael Serebreny from Tyborne Hill Publishers, he convinced me that doing an outline prior to writing a book would help me to keep the storyline organized. At the time I was resistant, but as my writing style grew, I finally came around to the viability of outlines even though I don't create them for every book.

I've also developed other ways to keep storylines organized over time - such as character spreadsheets and family trees, for instance - but doing an outline prior to writing has proven to be beneficial in an overall sense, especially in the early stages of creating a new story.

Outline for "Blood & Soul" by Deborah O'Toole writing as Deidre Dalton. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

This has become the case for Blood & Soul, my current project. As explained in a blog entry from January 2021 (Piecemeal Scribbles), Blood & Soul is being written in "piecemeal" fashion. In other words, it is being completely written out of order. Most of the ending is complete, but the beginning through the middle still needs to be developed. To that end, I finally decided to write an outline for Blood & Soul, even at this late stage in the game. And, to be honest, it has helped.

One of the most redeeming aspects of doing an outline is the ability to change various points as needed. An outline does not dictate that the story is set in stone, especially as its being written. The ebb and flow can change at inspirational whim.

I liken it to a light bulb flash in the segment of the brain which controls fluid creativity.

Irish Eyes: The Bloodline Trilogy

*Related Posts: Intermittent Outlines (03/21/2021) and Piecemeal Scribbles (01/23/2021).

Tags: Bloodline Trilogy; Writing & Editing