Lauren’s Lessons Learned: Throw Out Your Outline

As I have mentioned before, I recently figured out a bunch of major things that need to be changed in my novel. And to be honest with you, I wasn’t always ready to make changes. To be really honest with you, I remember having issues when I would be given suggestions to make edits to short stories that I’m not nearly as attached to as this WIP.

But let me tell you something – you have to make changes sometimes. Sure they don’t exactly fit with what you outline or imagined plot is in your head. These changes sure didn’t fit that mold that I had initially set up for myself. I do think, though, that without these changes, and by sticking to my original plan, that I would be selling myself short. These changes need to happen in order to make my novel the best that it can be.

That’s my lesson learned – don’t hold yourself to your outline like it’s the only thing you can write off of. Deviate from it, change it, THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW! It doesn’t matter, but don’t think “oh here’s this really good idea – but wait, it doesn’t fit. oh well” because then you are selling yourself short.

So please, don’t be like me. If you think of (or are given advice for) any changes that would go against Plan A, think through them and use them if they are appropriate.

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2 thoughts on “Lauren’s Lessons Learned: Throw Out Your Outline

  1. I’ve long intended to write a post about outlining vs. not outlining, but this is an interesting perspective to consider. Also, this has long been my problem with outlining, in a sense. Whenever I write out an outline I feel like I must stick to it while I’m actually writing the novel/short story. That eliminates spontaneity, which most writers recognize is quite a valuable thing.

    Great post!

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