Outlines, AI and Stormy Daniels

From Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris:

I’d been planning to write my April post about outlines.

Which authors do outlines? And which ones don’t?

(I don’t and neither does Anne).

I’d done a bit of research and made some notes when along came AI, the hot new kid in town.

How could I ignore AI when everyday I was almost buried by an avalanche of news about AI, how to use it, and how it was going to revolutionize everything.

And put writers out of business.


Hold my beer.

Does s/he? Or doesn’t s/he?

Dean Wesley Smith does not outline: His book, Writing into the Dark, goes into the details of his process.

Neither does Nora Roberts. “I don’t plot. I don’t sit down and plot a book. It sort of unreels as I write.”

James Patterson outlines. Does he ever!

Daniel Silva doesn’t. “I have just never been able to outline. I just can’t bring a story to life on note cards, never have been able to….To me, it’s just a waste of time. My first draft is, in effect, the outline. If you do it long enough, you know that it becomes second nature—how you bring a character on the page, and this is what’s really going on—so I write it at one level but I have a much deeper understanding about what will happen later.”

Lisa Scottoline: “I just get writing. I don’t outline. I don’t know what the story is going to be until I get it down on paper. At the end, hopefully, I see I have a story. And then I’m the happiest person on the planet.”

Harlan Coben:  “I don’t outline. I usually know the ending before I start. I know very little about what happens in between. It’s like driving from New Jersey to California. I may go Route 80, I may go via the Straits of Magellan or stopover in Tokyo… but I’ll end up in California.”

At this point along came AI.

I asked it to write a blogpost about writers who do — and don’t — outline.

Here’s the result:

AI chimes in on Outlines.

When it comes to the writing process, every author has their own unique approach. Some writers meticulously plan out their stories with outlines, while others prefer to let their creativity flow freely without a rigid structure.

In this blogpost, we will explore famous writers who have used outlines in their work, as well as those who have chosen to forgo this method.

Famous Writers Who Use Outlines:

J.K. Rowling –

The world-famous author of the “Harry Potter” series is known for her meticulous planning and outlining. In fact, Rowling is known to have created extensive outlines for each of her seven books in the series before she even started writing the first one. Her outlines included detailed plot points, character arcs, and even diagrams of the Hogwarts castle. Rowling’s use of outlines allowed her to carefully plot out the complex storylines and foreshadowing that are integral to the “Harry Potter” series.

Dan Brown –

The best-selling author of “The Da Vinci Code” and other popular thrillers is known for his meticulous research and detailed outlines. Brown’s books are known for their intricate plots and historical references, and he uses outlines to carefully plan out the complex storylines and clues that make his novels so thrilling. Brown’s outlines often include detailed descriptions of locations, historical events, and clues that his protagonist must unravel, helping him create a fast-paced and engaging reading experience for his readers.

Stephen King –

Although he is known for his spontaneous and free-flowing writing style, Stephen King has also used outlines in some of his works. King has mentioned in interviews that he uses a loose outline to guide him through the writing process, particularly when working on longer novels with multiple plotlines. King’s outlines are not as detailed as those of other writers, but they serve as a rough roadmap that helps him stay on track while still leaving room for his creativity to flow.

George R.R. Martin –

The author of the epic fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” which inspired the television series “Game of Thrones,” is known for his intricate world-building and complex plotlines. Martin has stated that he uses extensive outlines to plan out the intricate politics, alliances, and conflicts that make up his fantasy world. His outlines often include detailed descriptions of characters, their motivations, and how they fit into the larger story. Martin’s use of outlines allows him to keep track of the numerous characters and storylines in his novels, which are known for their intricate and interwoven plots.

Link to the rest at Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris


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