Is it possible?

Is it possible to write a book from an outline without extensive researching?


  • Rarely.


    But you can write down what you need to research in order to make the book happen.  Smiley Happy

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  • I've only begun the process.


    I'm starting to find this out since I've started one outline twice. People said it was good but I always felt it was missing something. As I look at the work I put into an outline a while ago, I see this one is more thought out. I was writing without a setting and it would have been good to have it handy when the main character is running all over the city.

  • I just make it up as a go along. I have an idea of the story in my head, but not set in stone. What I need to know while writing I look it up when needed (which is easy if you use your on-line PC to write the story on). I often return to the start of chapters and even many chapters, even right back to the start, countless times, twiddling, adding, moving, deleting, rechecking stuff, until I am 100% happy with it.


    The only deadline is in your head. There's no rush.

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  • I come up with my topic and then create the table of contents with each chapter sort of an outline which can be changed at any time. Research is done for each one and like I said can be changed at any time.

  • Yes, it is possible only when you finish the lists of content that you want to be in your book.

  • This is good to know. I was wondering if some authors start writing and research as they go.

  • tannic wrote:

    Is it possible to write a book from an outline without extensive researching?

    Of course it is possible...if you are talking about fiction. But if you are writing a non-fiction book, this would be very difficult to do.

  • This is impossible to answer without knowing more about what you're writing.


    But that aside it's all down to personal preference. I prefer to get all the research out of the way before I start writing the actual story. I spent 18 months researching my latest book before putting pen to paper.

  • As Ron says, writing fiction is not the same as writing a factual book. Fiction is made up so is not easy to research anything you need to, until you realise you need to, whereas in factual books you know exactly what you will be writing and can plan accordingly.

    The main thing with both is that if you use facts you have to make sure they are facts by looking up many reputable sources, not just one or two or even three.

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  • tannic a écrit :

    Is it possible to write a book from an outline without extensive researching?

    I never do that. I start writing and continue until the book is almost finished, then I decide on its outlines. This is when I modify its organisation, move some sections up or down, remove others, add new ones, etc.


    For scholarly titles, I first read as much as possible and do my own research on specific questions before I start writing. This is completed by new research after the book has reached a satisfying development. It can take months, and in some cases it took me years; that's why I run several projects at the same time.

    For fiction and drama, I let the characters live their adventures, and only put some order in the story after it is fleshed enough to stand on its on feet.

  • This is an open ended question.


    I had story that started out as a short story. The more I thought about it the more I put into the story. From that point I put all my thoughts into an outline. It's very detailed on how things play out from to finish. From that point I decided that there can't be a short story since I was at revision 3 and the story is still growing in length as well as complexity. My only issue right now is sitting down and writing it out. Lately I've been playing music while I write; Two Steps From Hell.

  • I think it depends on where you set your book and your own personal experiences. I set my book in Saudi Arabia and I've never been there, so extensive research was an absolute necessity. There was less reseach required for England where I live.

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