Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why is a Plot Outline so important?

Have you ever written a piece and found that it doesn't work? Some authors write from the seat of their pants, but even these can find that once their story is complete there are flaws that need fixing.

This is where a simple tool like a plot outline can help. An outline can find problems like loose ends, unresolved plots, plot holes or pacing problems. It is in the outline stage that trouble spots can be identified and eliminated. Missing breathers, chapters that have the wrong tension, plot points in the wrong place or an inconsistent plot can be fixed at this stage. Other common problems like missing subplots, unresolved subplots or a climax that omits some of the sub plot elements can be worked out with an outline. An outline can prevent the problem of sub plots being resolved before the main plot resolution, sub plots that are not vital to the main plot or its resolution, weal plots, weak causes of conflict or motivation and missing twists or conflicts.

Although the time taken to work through an outline might seem tedious and unnecessary, if there is ever a moment when the finished story seems to lack drive and the necessary hook to keep the reader turning every page, then an outline could be the simplest answer.

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