I don't know if you could call what I'm doing a really outline, but let me tell you, it is working. I'd like to share with you what I'm doing and how it's working.
First of all, as I've mentioned before, I wrote Bum's Rush by the seat of my pants. It took me more than four years to finish, but it's done and it's good. Then I got this idea from another writer, about a high school prom queen and how she betrayed her best friend from second grade. It all takes place five years after they graduate. Having loved her all his life, Matthew Drako finally gives up on Halle Winters and moves on. That's it. That's all I had. That was last fall when the idea hit me. I had to take some time off from writing it to launch Bum's Rush, which if you look in the box above is now available on Amazon and Kindle.
In between then and now, I've been making notes. I wrote the first chapter which has changed three times already, then googled how to outlining a novel. I read everything I could find and finally came up with my own design. Since I was essentially clueless, I hit a dead end pretty quickly, but I believed in this idea and started writing and outlining simultaneously. Still making notes as I wrote, I wanted to hurry and get to the end. I did that, but it's only got 18 grand. Then suddenly it all started clicking and it's beginning to get some depth. The outline is actually taking over. It's a living document with tendrils that are becoming far reaching. So yeah, outlining really does work and if it's not written in stone, it's a fabulous tool for writing a novel. I doubt this book will take four years. I'm hoping by late summer, I'll be ready to publish, if not, at least by this time next year.