Importance of an Outline
If you know how the story begins, the flow through it’s story arc, and the end point, you will never have writer’s block because you know the steps to follow to the last chapter. An outline doesn’t have to be formal, fancy or detailed, but it must be completed before you start to edit or polish, otherwise you’ll get stuck or will have too many ideas and will never finish.
By outline, these seasoned authors mean a document of a completed story draft. Plotting by the seat of your pants is still an outline. An outline is a draft of the plot. It means no polishing or editing until you have the whole story on paper—from the beginning, straight to the end. A rubbish outline will do, said Perry. Once there’s an outline, the theme will become clearer. Often characters become more or less important and adjustments in the plot are allowed—re-write, re-write, re-write!
Anne Perry and Victoria Zackheim were on tour in April 2014 promoting their latest books. They spent over three hours mentoring writers at the California Writers Club, Apple Valley branch. Their focus was on how to approach writing projects. Zackheim is an experienced editor and an author specializing in memoir and personal essays. Anne Perry is recognized as one of the world’s top 100 masters of crime and her series of detective novels are set in historical fiction.