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What To Expect When You Write a Novel with No Outline


Creative Writing with the Crimson League

For all intents and purposes–leaving my upcoming, first attempt at NaNoWriMo behind–I write without an outline. As people might say, I’m a “pantser.” I’m a big believer that there’s no right or wrong way to write a novel. Outlines aren’t good or bad, as I’ve touched on before (see To Outline or Not to Outline: FLEXIBILITY’s the Key). It all depends on what works for you. What’s your style? Here are some things you can expect if you fly the seat of your pants:

  1. YOU’LL HIT SOME BLOCKS. Rather than confronting those panic-inducing, “I’m not sure where to take this” moments at the outline phase, if you write without an outline you’ll hit them during first-draft composition. Don’t worry, you can work through them with a little thought–see The Question that Breaks my Writer’s Block–but don’t think you can avoid them. In my case, just knowing I’ll confront…

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