Writing Out of Order
I love the fact that as an outliner now I can write chapters out of order. If this chapter bores me, I can write a different chapter instead. Obviously, I have to go back and finish previous chapters, but it's really nice that I can choose a chapter with the mood I'm interested in right now or stick with a thread that I like, even if I'm planning to break up the sequence for suspense of the reader.

There were things I loved about being a pantser. I loved discovering as I went and waking up each morning, excited to find out what would happen next. I didn't love not knowing if there would be an ending. I didn't love how many novels I ended up not being able to finish because I just lost my way somewhere. I didn't love how many drafts I went through because I was wandering so badly in the middle, trying to figure out where I was going.

But the truth is, I tried to outline before and I couldn't do it. I don't know why, but I lost interest in a lot of stories. And I often simply couldn't figure out how to see the story in a bigger picture format. I hated writing synopses. I didn't think of story in terms of beats or scenes. It felt like I didn't have any control over the story. It either came to me or it didn't. I thought there was a kind of magic in this and I didn't want to mess with it.

Do I wish I'd learned to outline sooner? I guess so, but I don't know how I could have done it. Sometimes you get there as soon as you can.