All writers seem to have an opinion about outlines; are they good or bad?

I used to write without an outline, and ended up going back and cutting scenes or chapters that I loved. Now, I use what I like to call a very flexible or fluid outline. Sometimes I know a scene very well and write a detailed synopsis, occasionally including dialogue. Other times, I simply put a few words that tell me what a scene needs to accomplish. My outlines are very fluid and do not limit me to a single scene when actually writing the scene winds up to be several scenes or even a chapter of its own.

The best solution for me to keep my outline, notes, and writing together is a little program called yWriter (yWriter link). Writing programs cannot write a best seller for you and many writing professors deplore them. Personally, I think the professors that don’t want you to use them are afraid of what you might accomplish by being organized and able to put your efforts toward writing, and not gathering your materials. yWriter also helps me “see” the big picture easier as a blind writer. When you have to listen to at least the first few words of each paragraph when you are trying to get an over view, it is very distracting. I’m sure there are blind people that work just fine that way, but I do not, and perhaps this will help others that have a problem. Simon, the program’s creator, is also very helpful when you come across accessibility issues or when something would be easier if modified a little for you to work with as a blind writer.

Definitely try out the program, and if you like it, consider sending him a donation.


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