R271. The Planners vs. the Pants-ers: Outlining Your Novel

Marquis Salon 7 & 8, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
Thursday, February 9, 2017
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Perhaps no question gets asked of novelists more than "Do you outline first?" And for good reason: novels are long, complex, often messy creatures. This panel of novelists, comprised of those who outline and those who fly by the seat of their pants, discuss the advantages and pitfalls of their own approaches to novel-writing and offer words of advice, support, and caution.



Michael Kardos is the author of the novels Before He Finds Her and The Three-Day Affair, the story collection One Last Good Time, and the textbook The Art and Craft of Fiction. He is an associate professor of English and codirector of the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.

Ravi Howard is the author of two novels, Driving the King and Like Trees, Walking, a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and recipient of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at Florida State University.

Lee Martin is the author of four novels, including the Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Bright Forever. He is also the author of three memoirs, most recently Such a Life, and a story collection, The Least You Need to Know. He teaches in the creative writing program at The Ohio State University.

Lorraine M. López, an associate editor of the Afro-Hispanic Review, teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of six books of fiction and editor of three essay collections. Her most recent publication is The Darling, a novel.

Jessica Anya Blau is the author of the novels The Trouble with Lexie, The Wonder Bread Summer, Drinking Closer to Home, and The Summer of Naked Swim Parties. Her books have been optioned for film and television.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center