Two weeks ago, the final part of Project B landed on me like a Jabba the Hutt’s tail, and I found myself thrashing around to avoid the pit of doom while making edits. The end result was a hell of a lot stronger – the nice thing about traditional publishing is you can get a really good editor who knows what’s what – but I burned myself out and got sick, thus losing most of last week.
My Jabba the Hutt experience taught me that
- It’s best not to have any bits in the outline which are fuzzy on the motivations and actions of the main players.
- The outline really does need to read like an excellent story in its own right!
- When the ending is a fixed point in history, work backwards from that to get the story.
- I should consult my old notes about writing military fiction.
All this made me revisit what I had for project C…. which seemed too linear and generic, when what I really wanted was a proper military story, since the thing ends in a big historic battle. So, somewhere in there I put in a day’s work messing with the story, created a new outline, chopped into Acts, with a QABN for each one (Question Answer But Now).
Today, Day 5, I have the thing roughed into 13 chapters. All this really tells me is that I have enough plot for this kind of short novel; I average 3-4 K words per chapter, so this is easily 35 thousand words.
Next job is to build the hero’s retinue….