Friday, March 29, 2013

Outlines are Ikea Chairs

In that they involve a lot of swearing.

But in other ways too! Really. I was just thinking about this the other day, and I think there are three types of outliners. And I will CLASSIFY them using IKEA FURNITURE ASSEMBLY because I am a SCIENTIST but, like, a really bad one.

1. Burn the instructions!

This is the person who won't look at the outside of the box, let alone the instructions. They want to take out all the components and play with them; to get a feel for the way things are meant to fit as they go along. Also known as pantsers.

2. Okay so you can show me the box

These people like to have a vague idea of where they're going, even if they don't know every step they're going to take along the way. A lot of these middle types do a rough outline of a page or so that hits on major plot points. They also tend to change it up a lot along the way, because although they usually know roughly WHAT happens, they didn't nail down most of the specifics of HOW things occur. These are my people!

uh no
3. Hand over the instruction manual or die

Last but not least are the hardcore plotters. These guys have beautiful, color-coded outlines that may be longer than the actual manuscript at any point in time. They plan out every little detail painstakingly.

ikea go home you are drunk
Which are you? Did I miss anybody? :)


  1. #2, both in outlining and Ikea-building! (Okay, maybe I spend a little more time with the Ikea instructions than outlines, but there have definitely been times where I've read the instructions and said, "This is stupid, I'm going to do it my way." One of those times may have been yesterday, and the cabinet is still standing!)

    1. Ha! I'm definitely a #2 in outlining, but a #3 in Ikea-building. I've learned the hard way to follow the instructions, else waste five hours of my life.