An Outline: Importance Of?
Another question often asked is: Is an outline necessary?
Most veterans of the contest will most assuredly recommend preparing an outline. Those without a plan, more often than not, find themselves floundering upon the turbulent, unforgiving seas of forced spontaneous creativity. An outline can be quite detailed and, as veterans of the contest will also tell you, the chances of sticking to the outline once things get rolling are about 1,000 to 1. But getting started is often a major hurdle and an outline can be invaluable as an initiator. That brings up another minor point.
Plot or Character Development?
The dilemma of where to place the emphasis is best summed up by Jeff Doran, 1983 winner with This Guest of Summer: “I found when writing a 3-Day Novel that, of plot and character development—well—you gotta throw one or the other out the window.”