Some folks see this as Story vs. Craft or Characters vs. Structure. Pfft. Good writing needs both. I view it as writing from the Inside Out (from connecting with characters at a gut level out to story structure) or the Outside In (from structure into character.) Either way, you need both inside and outside. The difference is how you get there.

I’m an Inside Outer. Outlines stop me dead. How do I know? Because I’ve tried. I have writer friends who are Outside Inners, who become lost in the wilderness if they start with characters. How do they know? Because they’ve tried.

Only you can figure out which approach works for you. You figure out by doing. So get in there and start something (outline or scene), then try something else (the other one.) Which feels better? Which makes you want to keep going? Go with it. But also know that at some point, you will need both. Where you start is just that – a start.

Read more at Getting it done — how to write your first novel – Kobo Writing Life.

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