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Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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What percentage of authors write an outline before they actually start writing their story? I heard from the son of an author who was in the middle of a new book when he suddenly passed away. Now they have a dilemma, because there was no outline, and they don't know how to proceed.
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Posts: 144
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Outlines

I am currently writing a book and I do not have a written outline.  I have one in my head.  I am going to think about writing one though since it is better than memory.  Now this is just my opinion here,  I would not want someone else to attempt to write my book for me posthumously.  This would be wrong since it would not be my words going into the work it would be someone else's words.  Just my 2 cents worth.
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
Posts: 382
Registered: ‎07-12-2007
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Re: Outlines

Great question. Most people I've reading postings from hate the thought of outlines. For myself, it depends on the book and how I thought up the idea to begin with. I don't just sit down and brainstorm an outline. I come up with a usable idea first. Then depending on how much my imagination catches fire...If it does right away, I usually sit down and write/type it out in a summary or as an actual rough draft. If the idea isn't an instant blaze but I really like it then sometimes I jot down the summary then construct my first outline. I do outline drafts just like actual written drafts. An outline, in these cases, gives me a good idea of how salable the story is, if it has the potential to be a full sized book, and where the weak points are in the plot. After the first outline I settle down to writing the book and filling in the detail gaps. I'm not afraid to halt everything when another brainstorming session opens up new ideas for that book; then I revisit the outline and sometimes throw it out and do another, or just revise it. Sounds like a lot of work?  Well, writing is, if you're serious about it. Plus having an outline done gives you one less step when you submit it. Agents and editors usually want to see an outline or a synopsis (which you can easily convert from an outline). So whether you use one or not during the process, be prepared to still have to come up with one at some point during the aftermath.
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-21-2008
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Re: Outlines

I have a general idea in my head when I start to write, but don't do an outline.
In my latest work, ESCAPING THE PAST, there's a secret to be revealed.  The main character escapes with nothing more than a black bag.  In the bag is a secret.  I didn't know what was in the bag until I got to the end of the book.  I found out when my readers found out what the secret was. 
So, no, I am not a plotter. 

Learn more about Escaping The Past.