to outline or not to outline

A typical drafting occurrence:

Writer: Who needs an outline? I don't. Obviously.

Draft: Really. Outlines are SO lame.

W: You are so smart, Draft! You know just where I need to –

*draft withers*

*writer gapes*

W: Why you gotta be so difficult, Draft? Way to blow yourself up. I can't have a story with nothing but body parts, can I?


*writer grabs hair*

W: Didn't I have an AWESOME idea last night? One that magically made you come together, Draft? Didn't I? WHY DON'T I REMEMBER IT?

*writer knocks brain against surfaces*

W: I have to write an outline, don't I?

*writer takes chocolate break*

W: You look so pretty, Draft. Did you do something with your hair this morning?

*draft stares*

W: What? Flattery WON'T get you to write yourself?

*writer sips tea* *reads book* *darts glances at Haughty Draft*

W: I am writing the CRAP out of you, Outline. You will BOW to me.

*maniacal tapping sounds*

*outline cowers* *mutters*

W: I'M not a Crazy Writer. YOU are.

*writer sips* *hits keys* *uses many Kanye caps*

W: Wow, Outline. You were so effortless. Why didn't I do this earlier?

*outline stares*

W: You're bullet-pointed, Outline. I'll come back to you tomorrow.

*writer stares* *sips*

W: I have to write you out NOW, don't I?

Repeat 'til finished.


  1. :) Your draft is so witty and blunt. Mine are a bit more subtle. Loved this!

  2. Excellent. I did the no-outline thing for my first book, and it took seven drafts to get it right. And, yes, the ending changed several times, and I threw out a good number of characters (even some I really liked). So, with book two, I wrote out the plot, what I wanted to hit, where it needed to go. I can't call it an 'outline' since it's not pretty and has no bullet points, but it's as close as I'll get.

    This made me laugh. Thanks!


  3. I think outlines save us writers many blank stares that could be turned into useful crafting time.

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