This weekend marked the point where I successfully completed my first chapter outline draft. I can now say that I am planning to write twenty four chapters in my third book and I have a brief idea what will happen in each. Actually, it's more than a brief idea: it's a solid foundation of what's to come. I can easily add more layers of writing to my base.
I first decided to write the chapter outlines because I love having a map to follow before I set out on a journey. The outline allows me to write with purpose while occasionally writing outside the lines. Basically the outline offers me a structure while also giving me permission to wander off course. The outline cannot be rigid as the result would be forced, weak writing.
The outline gives me passion and determination and a whole lot of courage to sit down and make a start on writing the book. It is a daunting prospect for any writer when they settle down to write a full length novel, even when the writer has the experience of writing previous books. Writing my first book was terrifying. Thinking about writing my second book seemed like an impossible task. But I managed both and now I am faced with penning my third. But as I write a constant stream of ideas flows to me. This is extremely encouraging and comforting as I know that if just write I will able to produce my book. Many people think that writing books is an overwhelming task and those thoughts prevent them from making a start. Penning any book is indeed a great commitment but it can be done, just as long as you write something every day or week. Like eating an elephant it just takes time and having a chapter outline will help guide you to staying on the right path.
What do you think of chapter outlines? Are they beneficial to you?