I will be the first to admit to being a pantser. My writing, for the most part, happens. This has been my method since I first started writing. Over the last few years, I have evolved some when it comes to outlining.

It’s true, I do outline now. I don’t do this by the traditional route as that still kills stories of mine. If I know what happens in every beat of the story, the fun seems to be sucked out of it. My writing is also rushed to the point I had marked in the outline.

I have not seen a name for this method so I will call it the Summary Method. The name could be called something cooler, like the Night Writer Method, but I will try to remain humble. This method consists of planning 3 to 5 chapters in advance. Instead of your traditional outline, I will write a few sentences or just notes on what is ahead and where we came from.

An example of this is that Mary and Sue are in the scene together. Mary just discovered that Sue was lying about hiding evidence but doesn’t want to spook her. Mary is looking for Sue to reveal the location of said evidence while Sue is continuing to hide this secret. Mary doesn’t get the information she needs, but she gets a better lead on who is really behind the crime as Sue’s story mentions a new location she visited the day of the crime.

Per the example, I clearly see where I am headed with the story. This gives me an idea to play off of and allows for a lot of freedom. The story or chapter may change as the words begin to flow. Maybe Mary gets more aggressive with her questioning and burns that lead completely. Someone could interrupt this meeting and throw one of them off their game on purpose. This allows for the freedom of being a pantser and the predictability of an outline. As always, things change on the fly.

I hope you have found something you can use in this and good luck with your writing/future projects!