For me, the main reason to create an outline is so that I can figure out what the heck I'm going to write today. If you are an organic writer, as I am, outlining is particularly hard, because we have difficulty breaking our story idea into its basic elements, especially plot, and try to think of the whole organism of the story. Which doesn't actually exist yet.
So here is an article I found recently on creating flexible outlines at Writer's Digest. Doesn't sound quite so much like the research outline you might have had to make in school.
In fact, it sounds a bit like the blueprinting method I learned about in a workshop taught by author Wendy Maas. What I like about this method is that it's good for generating ideas and material, while traditional outlines are more about organizing material you already have.
If you don't know what you're going to write this weekend, you might want to spend some time outlining or blueprinting, so you'll be ready for next weekend.
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