This week on the Open Book Blog Hop we’re talking about our process for outlining a story.

I first thought that I’d not take part this week as I never outline any story, but changed my mind.  Actually I find it better NOT to outline anything, but just make it up as I go along.  I have done this with all of my novels, and indeed sometimes the book ends up totally different to how I had originally imagined it.

I think that to outline a book before you start it stifles creativity.  I like the freedom of not having to keep to a rigid outline, and enjoy the chance to create a book off the top of my head.  I think back especially to writing my novel ‘Revenge’, where all through the story the reader is not certain whether Alistair  ends up with Carly or back with his wife Ann.  Even I didn’t know until I’d penned the last chapter!  In fact with that particular book I felt like writing many different endings, as the one I chose caused so much trouble with my beta readers!  One reader wanted a particular ending, and so I wrote one to please her, and then another beta reader hated that one and wanted a different ending.  In fact after a while I gave up writing endings to please, and wrote one that I wanted instead!


With ‘A House Without Windows’ there could only be one type of ending, but with my latest novel ‘Repent at Leisure’ I had the opportunity to try out several different endings, always keeping in mind of course what the reader is probably looking for.

Do you think it’s a good thing to plan out a novel first?  From what I can gather on social media I seem to be a ‘pantster’ and not a plotter.  I suppose at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what you are, as long as it suits you.

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