The Death of an Outline—Off-roading, Freedom, and Expansion

the image is not mine
the image is not mine

So yesterday afternoon I found myself writing an outline for The Golden Lands.   All the future volumes, their names, maybe different books of the series—I was planning all that out.  I finished the outline, my brain having that “burnt out” feeling, and then I stopped for a moment.  All at once, I felt a pang of regret.  The outline suddenly seemed evil, and for some reason, I almost felt guilty.


Because TGL is not meant to be limited by the barriers erected by an outline.  That’s right.  I don’t like outlines.  In fact, when it comes to creative writing, I think they don’t even make sense.  What about “creative writing” makes you think you should write out a blueprint for your “creativity”?  Here’s the thing about outlines: when you make one, you intend to stick to it.  That’s not what TGL is supposed to be.  And I don’t think that’s what any form of creative writing is supposed to be.  A set path is good, but not one that holds you back.

I immediately crossed out the outline.  An outline would hold me back.   It would limit expansion.  It would cause me to stick to one path; a path I set up for myself.  Sure, you can make outlines bigger, and I’m sure they can be useful.  But when it comes to freedom, to expansion of the mind and of the story in all of its characters, plot-twists, and subtle, moral glory, a blueprint doesn’t make sense.   It doesn’t work.  It impedes.

the image is not mine
the image is not mine

So I’m going to do some off-roading.  I’m going to ride in the freedom of my mind, allowing my own creativity to lead my story wherever I (and God) deem it wander.  This is writing.  This is art.  This is creativity.

Outlines?  Not for me.


Your AA,


7 thoughts on “The Death of an Outline—Off-roading, Freedom, and Expansion”

  1. Hehe… I absolutely have to have an outline. That’s because I have a rambling brain, and if I don’t have an outline, the characters in my contemporary coming-of-age story would be faced by an attack of unearthly sea monsters or the Chitauri or something. 😛


    1. Haha I guess that’s understandable. I usually end up replaying every important scene in my head until i know and remember exactly what’s happening and how to describe it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, i don’t necessarily have a great memory. That’s why I have to replay the scenes over and over again in my head.
        But thanks anyway!

        Liked by 1 person

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