Jeffery Deaver's latest novel, "The Burning Wire".Recently, I had the chance to sit and listen to Jeffery Deaver (the best selling author) discuss writing.

It was an interesting night, one that I had a real reaction to that I am still digesting…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me share with you what I took away from his talk.

Deaver says he practices the Liver Flavored Tooth Paste way of writing. Broken down this means that we do not write things that people are not interested in, because people won’t read it (funny that).
He also says that you can’t know if you have a Liver Flavored story until you get into it. Thus he is a huge champion of outlining! He usually spends a month or more outlining a new story, getting down all the scenes he wants to include and all the aspects he wants to explore. Only then does he begin writing.

And if the outline is bad, he throws it out.

No keeping a passage because it is good, no pulling out a character, no tucking it away to come back to later when perhaps you get a better handle on it…nope, it all gets thrown out. ALL OF IT.
He finds it much easier to get rid of something that is not working, and he believes that he has wasted much less time than he would if he had begun writing already.

For me the delayed gratification that comes with outlining prior to writing sounds like torture…but Deaver swears by it.

So, what do you think? To outline or not to outline? Could you wait to start writing until after you outline? Or are you like me and view that as torture? Let me know!


About the author

NRBrown N.R. Brown is a part-time author, full-time book junkie. She particularly loves horror and dark fantasy. She is the co-host of Unleaded - Fuel for Writers and a member of the Hellebore Writing Group and the Cat Vacuuming Society of Northern Virginia writers group, as well as of the Chessie Chapter of Sisters in Crime.