Outline or Not: Do What’s Best for the Story
Who says you’re not letting the story have a life of its own in the outline stage? And who’s standing over your shoulder telling you that you have to stick to every point of your outline as you’re fleshing it out in the writing process?
Outlining can be great for the creative process. Not that I think you should outline every story you write; do what works for the story you’re working on. But if you’re in control of your story, there’s no reason you can’t work out some of the complexity of your story before you start writing. And since you’ll end up rewriting much of the story anyway (since great writing is rewriting), you’ll still rely on natural story structure to make the story better.
I don’t disagree that writing a story without an outline can work. I love writing both ways. My serialized story Extraction has no outline whatsoever. I’d love for you to check it out if you like the kind of story that isn’t outlined.
Stories do need complexity. I just think you can do it with or without an outline.