Wednesday 1st July 2020
Outlining is going very well. In fact, it’s going REALLY well.
I don’t want to jinx it but I’d originally thought that this outline might take me 2 weeks. Even that was hopeful given that most outlines take me a month.
But either the things I’ve gone over in the discussion document have removed much of the ambiguity on what to do, or all the practise I’ve had of late has paid off.
Today was about character arcs. One of the things that the discussion document highlighted was that some of the characters need slightly different arcs.
This novel’s protagonist has quite a defined start and end point, but I think the middle can be accused of being a little wishy-washy. It was suggested to me to make the character stronger that when a choice is presented to him, it’s a choice he might take.
It’s a simple job to adjust the motivation, but the problem was that it clashed with his actions earlier in the book. For that reason, the character needs a clearer evolution over the course of the novel.
On top of that the antagonist needed to present escalated threat, so it made sense that he mirrored the protagonist a little. And there was a secondary antagonist that also needed developing a bit more.
I’ve done this by creating blank cards in Scrivener’s corkboard view to remind me that the characters’ motivations have changed.
This has resulted in the novel having distinct phases that roughly align with the acts of the novel. Not everyone sees their character progress to the next phase at exactly the same time, and I think I’m OK with that. I think it would feel a little forced if I tried to do all of them simultaneously. Sometimes, a change needs to be a reaction to something else.
As you know I’m big on theme at the moment, and particularly how protagonists and antagonists link into theme. I’ve got a strong concept of what the theme is here and thought I might have trouble linking it to their new character phases.
But… I haven’t… which either means I’m doing something incredibly right or incredibly wrong.
Either way, this was a HUGE chunk of work I got through today. I now only need to add in a few more notes to specific scenes where there need to be some major changes made… and then I’m good to start writing.
I’m still wary of just how easy this process has been, and am waiting for something to blindside me. Otherwise I will have done a new outline in just 3 days. Here’s hoping the actual writing is fast as well!
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