The book I was working on when last I was writing was Song. In April, I wrote that I was trying to reattach to the story, the point being to finish the second draft.
Well, I reattached pretty successfully and finished the second act, but then ran into a hole in the plot which meant I couldn’t sensibly continue the drafting process in that direction*. That, combined with other problems in the draft I found during my reread, means I need to do some more detailed outlining to capture the specifics of what needs to happen.
The outline needs to capture a few things:
- the events of the narrative
- break down the events into sufficient detail**
- connective scenes, for pacing at the very least
- annotate breadcrumbs: guns over the mantlepiece, character hints, and other mechanics of making twists and turns something other than dei ex machina***.
This outline is a scene spreadsheet in which I am going to break down in the tricky bits. Much of the draft text I’ve written should still be usable, since it’s in first person (which I want to stick to) and the broad plot is still sound – it’s just some of the details which are making things grind like ill-meshed cogs. With the outline done, I can forge on with the drafting where I left off, and will fix up the first half of the story to match those portions of the outline on an edit pass.
Best get on.
[*] yes, yes, I should finish the draft – it’s the fundamental truth of NaNoWriMo – but I’ve written a lot of bad drafts in my time and I don’t want to throw away time on writing something I know I am going to discard.
[**] a deliberately slippery term, to be sure.
[***] I’m very dubious about this plural form, I’m afraid.