February 11th, 2007

brick puzzling rubix

Why an outline should never be carved in stone

Just back from my writers group meeting, at which the first three chapters of Possessing Lucy got chewed over, and also I ended up explaining a bunch of the 'what happens next' stuff, which also got chewed over. And all that is good, because it came to light that there was a pretty big plausibility problem, and a related over-complicated plot problem (this is what I get for trying to write a semi-mystery), and after a lot of discussion someone said something that clicked, and made all the pieces I wanted to keep come together in a slightly different but much smoother way.

I'm glad I figured this out now, rather than after I'd written the entire thing, because it'll mean I can fix everything from here on in this draft, and only have the first ten chapters to tweak the plot into line when I'm writing the second draft. (Not that I won't be tweaking any plot afterward, but at least this hole will be filled.) What I intend to do is take my outline, rewrite it to adjust for the new development, continue writing from where I am now (mid-way through chapter 11) from the new outline, and adjust the earlier stuff to the new outline on the second draft.

I just hope I don't end up realizing that I need to change a whole bunch more than I realized to make it work. Well, if it turns out changing a bunch more stuff would make the story so much better, that would actually be good. But if that stuff is in the first ten chapters, too, I may end up wanting to start over, and I don't really want to restart the rough draft.

So basically, I really hope I realize that what I'd already planned is quite brilliant with the exception of a few nudges here and there, not a big pile of crap. ;) Wish me luck!