When it comes to any stage of the creative writing process, there’s always some pros and cons to it. Not all writing is glamorous and it sounds more exciting than it really is at times. Outlining is a step some people skip and one that everyone does differently. So, here’s the downside to outlining your novel.
Before the First Draft
When I outline before the first draft, I feel a certain thrill for my novel. I’m excited, the ideas are brand new and fresh. I can’t wait to get to know my characters and explore a new world I’ve created.
If I get any new ideas, I have to write it down otherwise I’ll forget. Sometimes I write details that I believe the event might occur but other times I just write the basic idea down and call it day.
So, when the outline is over and it’s time to write the first draft, there’s one of two things that might happen:
1. I write the first draft without a problem.
Obviously, this is the best way to go. The outline guides me as it’s supposed to. Some ideas stay the same, some change. New characters are added and so on and so forth. This is the ideal way I’d love for all my novels to go.
But it doesn’t always happen that way.
2. The thrill is gone.
There have been times where I’ve outlined and then, when it comes time to write the first draft, I have no more motivation to write the story anymore.
Because I more or less already wrote it. Sometimes I write so many details into the outline, or I’ve worked on it for so long that the idea has been cooking for a while, that when I start the first draft I feel like I already wrote it.
This makes the process of writing the first draft slow. I wish that it was already written and I could just get started on the editing process. There’s a lot more detail and description that has to go into the first draft though.
I love outlining but there have been times where it’s been more work than I meant it to be. Sometimes, even if you outline all the time, it’s best not to outline and just wing the project. Everyone works differently but also I think every project needs to be tackled with its own unique approach.