Time Management for Writers: Incremental Outlining

Writing without an outline is a daring and exhillittlepenarating course, and I admire those who do. Still, high-wire writing can be hard on productivity for those of us who are fitting a full-time writing career into a full-time life, and more so for those determined to create a body of work rather than a single oeuvre.

Drafting 3,000 words in a week to a superb outline gets a writer two 70,000 books a year or a single longer book. (See Doing the Math For Your Writing Career.)  Revisions take far less time if a first draft is structurally cogent.

To this end, many of us will be able to identify a few scattered ten-minute periods through the week in which we can jot down outlines of scenes, character development, and settings.

Story elements take shape in increments this way even through a hectic week. With a little meaningful time with a writing project, incremental progress feels great, and we’re confident in storylines and character development when the time is here to sit down and draft.

Hope it’s another brilliant writing week.



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