Whether or not you outline before you write a novel, you should consider doing an outline after the novel is finished and before editing. Why? Because I said so. Just kidding. Har me out.
Plot lines bend and they weave all over the place and it’s hard to keep them all straight in a single glance. You forget small details that make a world of difference in your story. If there are any parts of the story you found “weak” or “too cluttered,” you need to be able to get a birds-eye view of them. An outline can help you do that.
Even if you wrote an outline before you started writing, you should revisit it and make sure it has all the crazy plot bunnies that weaved their way in when you were in the zone.
* An outline will show you where your story sags, even if you don’t want to admit it.
* An outline will show you where you “info dumped” and pushed your characters too hard.
* An outline will show you your story arc and flow.
* An outline will make sure you closed up all those crazy plot holes.
* An outline will give you the piece of mind that everything is there and you wont have to do five million drafts.
For some, outlining will take a half hour. For others it will be a will long adventure. I promise you it’s time well spent and will save you time in the long run. If it doesn’t I will give you your money back…