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Just wondering who uses "pre-writing" techniques! It dawned on me, when my middle school aged son brought home his English homework a couple weeks ago and I flipped through his writing book I was floored at how much time I had been wasting. Of coarse I do all the writing and revision again and again. However, when I re-acquainted myself with basic graphic organizers and such, I had a "DUH" moment! Has anyone else found this to be true? And if so, what method do you use? 

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A great many writers use "outlining" as a pre-writing tool and there are a lot of books out there on how to outline a novel.  I use first a novel outline, i.e. a paragraph on what the story will be about and then short paragraphs about what happens in each chapter.  This is a good tool to be sure you've thought the story out and have a guide as to what each chapter will cover.  I of course modify the chapter outlines as the story progresses.

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