On Writing: Outlining Vs. Pantsing Revisited

This week I will begin writing Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth book in the Thieftaker Chronicles. For those of you who are fans of the series, don’t panic. Book three, A Plunder of Souls, is not yet out and won’t be for close to a year. Authors are almost always at least a full book ahead of the publication schedule. On the other hand, if you haven’t yet read book two, Thieves’ Quarry, all I can say is what the hell are you waiting for…?

I spent part of last week outlining the book, and thought that I would return to the subject of outlines and pantsing, since it is something that still comes up quite a bit on this site and also in panels. I know that we talk about there being no single right way to do any of this, and I still believe that. But in this […]

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Outlining your novel: a method.

Ok, let’s start by saying what this isn’t: it’s not a post about why you should outline rather than write by the seat of your pants (and it would be great if we could stay away from that particular debate in the comments). It’s also not about how you should outline your novel. It’s about how I happen to do it.

At Magical Words we often say that there are many different ways to approach writing and that not all methods work for all writers. This post is going to be a case in point.

As I’ve said before, I used to be a pantser, but found that my books often lacked a tightness and sense of purpose because I had a hard time getting enough distance from the first draft to really knock it into shape. In one fairly recent instance which I’ve mentioned before, I returned to a […]

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