Take Five: #2: To outline or not to outline

Take Five
Five-minute reads about writing
to help you with NaNoWriMo
Nov. 1 - Nov. 30, 2011
Courtesy: Sasha Soren (Random Magic)

#2: To outline or not to outline

When you're planning out the blueprint for the work, should you outline the road ahead, or just sorta wing it?

Well, that rather depends on whether you're a judger (J) or a perceiver (P), in MBTI parlance. This video - briefly - explains all:

Shown above: Conference speaker Hile Rutledge focuses on how judgers and perceivers approach goals differently.

Find your own type: Quiz

If you're a judger: Yes, you might be very comfortable with outlining your work before you start, then sticking to the plan. You might prefer to set up a specific time to write, to outline your chapters from beginning to end, to write detailed character bios or place profiles, and to write, edit and proof at separate times and on a strict schedule.

Greatest strength: Meeting deadlines
Biggest weakness: Lack of flexibility, sticking to a character or plot arc that just doesn't work.

If you're a perceiver: You can take or leave outlines, schedules and often have no idea what time it even is, so the timed schedule idea is probably out. You might be more comfortable with a rough idea about what happens and a general feeling for your characters, then winging the rest - leaving room to blend in cool discoveries you make along the way.

Greatest strength: Go-with-the-flow creativity or discovery, or ingenious solutions.
Biggest weakness: Missing deadlines or losing track of details.