28k, and outlining

Hit 28k before work yesterday, I haven’t gotten much further.

It’s been a lot slower this week than I wanted it to be, but I’ve done some important organizational work yesterday and today. Why so important? Because I started this novel on a wing and a prayer (or really, an idea and… a prayer). I had no outline, and no story arcs, and no real plot… I didn’t even write my 28k in order. At all. So I finally realized that I’m halfway through, and if I have any hope of ending up with something that doesn’t have a zillion plot holes, I needed to do some basic outlining of what I already have, and make notes about where I need to add filler scenes.

First I wrote a basic outline. First index card said “Lily’s diary,” then the next card started with Emily’s narrative. Each card of narrative has the key points of plot in order. Each card is complete, and between cards is where I need to add scenes, usually because there is a huge jump in the timeline. I put blank cards in between to add plot details later. (A few places I know already some of what needs to be added. The notes for adding things say, for example, “GRIEF” or “Spring, Summer” or “2 months, Lily’s senior year” or “Ethan’s obit.”) I moved one scene that happened way too early. I added rough ideas of what month things took place. It’s taking a lot to explain but it’s really very basic.

Then I turned my focus on the diary entries. I put months there too, on my printout. I made a note of a few things that didn’t fit in with Emily’s timeline, so I moved and changed a few minor things. Next will be to have someone else read the diary and make sure it makes sense in the current order.

So now that I have the order rearranged, and I’ve figured out where I need to add things, I’m hoping the next phase of writing will be a lot easier. I can’t pre-plan too much or I get bored, but sometimes I just have to stop in the middle and reassess and do some middle-planning. I guess you could call it preparation for the second half.