Originally Posted by Steven Lake
I've done complete outlines like that before, but as with the old law of writing, "no plot outline ever survives the rough draft." Quite often I find that what sounded good in my outline doesn't quite work once its fleshed out. Hence the need periodically to go back in and completely redo whole sections, or sometimes the whole book. I also sometimes let the story wander on its own and see where it goes, because I've gotten some pretty impressive results doing that as well. ^_^
You could say my outline is
my rough draft; and the text I write from that, though I myself call it my draft, is actually my final copy... that is, after I do a proofing and editing pass on the draft, it becomes finalized.
This is one of the reasons I regularly describe my writing work as being similar to a carpenter making a chair
: I know from the beginning that I want to make a chair, and what kind of chair I want to make; the steps to making that chair are familiar and rote to me; and at the end, I have the chair I set out to make. I don't set out to make a Chippendale chair and end up with a La-Z-Boy; I make a Chippendale. It's the writing process I was trained in, and it works like clockwork for me.
I emphasize that I was trained to write this way in school; and although it works for me, other writing methods are equally valid if it turns out the product you want. (I just generate less wasted material along the way.)