The Benefits of Outlining a Book Before You Begin Writing

To outline or not to outline? That is a very common question amongst new writers, both fiction and nonfiction. The answer largely depends on what type of writer you are - are you a plotter or a pantser? In other words, are you a planner or are you spontaneous? Many writers find an outline beneficial in the writing process. There are several different types of outlines that writers can use, some much more detailed than others. A more detailed outline may prevent you from facing writer's block as you are writing, but could also leave you feeling constrained. Certain types of outlines work best for different writers. Whether you’re more visual or need more flexibility will allow some methods to work better for you than others. Like most areas of writing, it’s all about finding what’s best for you and your style. In this collection of interviews, prolific authors such as R.L. Stine, along with other industry experts, weigh in on the benefits of and approaches to outlining a book.

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