The Value of an Outline

I’ve been spending time this week working on the children’s book that I began during NaNoWriMo. I took today off from work because I have to run errands with my youngest son this afternoon. I decided to use this morning to re-read through what I’ve written in the book.

photoI haven’t touched it much since November so I don’t recall some of what I wrote. I’ve been working on a reverse outline this time through, too. I had no outline or plan to follow when I began to write so I just typed and let the thoughts and ideas flow. NaNoWriMo is all about writing as much as you can during an entire month, and then you go back later on to edit.


Doing the outline allows me to see again the good parts that I had created, but it also lets me see where I went astray. My chapters had some sense to them, and there was a general idea I was following, but I kind-of lost it midway through. At one point I tried to add in too many new characters. I must have thought that the original cast of characters was limited in some way. When I added more, I lost the original plot.


I can now see where I need to add additional material to take the story back to the original storyline. I can also see chapters that I will cut and characters that I will save for (hopefully) future books. This is all very exciting. I am not certain this will go anywhere, but it’s fun to think that it could.


My first steps are to continue with what I’ve got and to make sure there’s a beginning, a middle and an end. Even children’s stories need to make sense and either tell a tale or teach a lesson of some sort. I just hope that (some day) others enjoy what I’m creating.

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