I’m happy to report, I had a breakthrough and love how it turned out. Not only that, but it led me to the perfect ending for the entire novel. There’s no way I could have come to the idea if not for writing through the details of this chapter. No. Way.
My advice (as a second-time novelist): It’s not wise to spend all your time (ie: procrastinating) outlining the plot to spider web-thin details, or filling pages with lists of quirky character notes. Yes, they come in handy and can make the overall job easier – BUT they are not the be all, end all.
Once your fingers start flying across the keyboard, your characters will come to life in unexpected ways. Be open to listen to them – they know what works!
I thought my original outline was pure genius, all the pieces of the story fit perfectly in place. Until I started writing it. One of my secondary characters bloomed big time, and I had no choice but to go into her backstory. And through that, I discovered new ways to enhance my other characters’ storylines so they all play off of eachother.
Thank you, Daisy! (That’s her name)
How I’m handling this: I always have a printed outline on my desk. In my computer, I have my master outline. After every couple of chapters, I revise it with the changes, save it as a new file by date and print it out. That way I can keep track of what has happened and where I’m going, yet I still have the master saved. I try not to spend too much time on this process, just a few important lines of content.
I had hoped to hit 5,000 words, but I’m happy with the 2,600 I closed out with tonight. I’m more than anxious to wake up and dive into the next chapter. Miss Scarlet, here I come!