Workshop > Examples!
Oct 20


So, do real authors actually do this stuff? Do you really need to do all this planning if you’re a good writer?


Just like us, depending on the writer, and the type of story, famous authors use all sorts of pre-writing methods. Many stories will go through a number of these pre-writing methods before developing into a full draft.

Some authors start relatively sparsely:

(Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn plan)

While others end up with rather complex outlines:

(Joseph Heller's plot chart for Catch-22)

And some stories require a bit of creativity to outline effectively:

(Jack Kerouac's outline for what would become The Town and the City)

One thing is constant--good writing comes in many stages. No one writes a good story on their first try.

(Thanks to for the images!)

Check out some more hand-written outlines and diagrams from famous authors here and here.