The question of outlines goes all the way back to the argument of pantsers vs. plotters.
I'm a pantser. My idea of "planning" might extend to me making a list that goes along the lines of:
1. MC is running late for an appointment
2. Has a run in with lieutenant
3. Talks with captain
4. Goes and fights with recruit
X. The end
Not necessarily scene by scene or chapter by chapter. Some sections of my story might have several points on the list, some will have none.
Sometimes (often?) there is no list.
And then there is my crit partner. We will call her J. She is a plotter, and she makes outlines for EVERY. SINGLE. SCENE. She shared one of her outlines with me today, and I was dazzled.
It wasn't just a first, then, next outline. It was an outline that asked scene questions, covered dramatic beats, and detailed information revealed or hinted at. It asked what might be confusing, wondered aloud at how readers might respond, and basically blew my mind.
Basically, it was an outline that makes sure that every scene moves the story forward and also keeps track of when information is revealed (like a foreshadowing map!).
And I'm jealous of this beautiful outline. I want to use one.
But I'm a pantser. I'm worried that I am just being distracted by the shiny object, and that trying to use this outline will actually result in derailing me (this often happens when I try to plan) and I will have to scrap my work and start over.
If this outline works, it would definitely be useful when I begin seriously writing From the Sky (the serial I plan to start releasing this fall) but if I have to scrap that story and start over one more time I think I might cry.
So what do you think? Should I try to do some outlining, at least for individual episodes if not scenes, or should I stick to my pantser writing style and run with it?