I’m midway through writing out an outline for my NaNoWriMo novel. What bothers me about outlining is that there’s a fine line I walk between outlining too much and outlining too little.
If I make the outline too detailed, then I feel boxed in. I feel that I have to write exactly what happens and there’s not a lot of room for creativity and random ideas to come out during the actual writing.
If I don’t make the outline detailed enough, I’m often stumped on where to go next – or I have a hard time fleshing out the chapters and making them longer.
So instead of writing a one-page outline for each chapter (too detailed) or writing a one-sentence description of each chapter (not detailed enough), I opted to write just a small paragraph. It’s enough details to get me where I need to go in the plot, but not so many details that my creativity becomes stifled.
And I realized while doing Camp NaNoWriMo in July that I cannot go without an outline. I have to have some form of planning tool or else I’ll be utterly lost and crazy, unpublishable things will start happening in the story. I know NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a time for craziness, but sometimes the insanity just gets to be a little too overwhelming.
So… do you outline? How in-depth are your outlines?