Structure versus Outline – what’s the difference?

And which comes first?

I’ve been struggling with this question for several weeks now while editing my work in progress. Which book of writing advice should I be following?

Outlining Your Novel


Structuring Your Novel?

While I suspect this question might be yet another way of procrastinating actually working on the editing process, a did find an excellent answer to the question here:

“Proper story structure is never a choice. If we hope to write stories of worth and popularity, we should always seek to begin with structure. After that, we each have to identify and create the processes that will help us maximize both our creativity and productivity. And for most of us, the outline will be our greatest tool in building strong stories with spot-on structure.”

So the answer is outline comes first – if you’re going to have one.

I’m now on draft 15, so I can make outlines a plenty…. now what? How do I decide which scenes to keep?

Time to revisit the Mission Statement. Tomorrow’s procrastination exercise 😉


About Cathy Smallwood

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