I’m two-thirds of the way through the workbook’s version of the outline.
I say workbook’s version, because it’s not linear. It doesn’t go scene by scene by scene. Instead, it groups scenes by their impact on the story: the five most important beats on the way to the resolution of the protagonists’ main problem, etc.
So even once I’m done with it, I’ll need to draw up a second outline, one with everything in order, so I know where and when to drop each of the elements from the workbook’s outline.
This is becoming more work than I thought.
I’m starting to worry if it’s all necessary. If I’m hiding behind the outline, instead of diving in to get the edits done. Certainly outlining feels like work, like good work, brainstorming different ways scenes could go. But it’s not writing the actual book, it’s just prep.
And I must confess I have some trepidation about writing the new scenes. They’re all going to be first drafts, which means they’ll be bad, and need revision later. But those revisions will mean changes to other areas, probably, which’ll mean more edits for the altered scenes.
I worry that I’m looking at a chain of revisions, extending through the rest of the year and beyond.
In some ways, it might be nice to have a deadline, and someone to send it to. Then I could see an end to the chain of editing, or at least a point where I’m forced to hang up my keyboard and say “no more.”
Perhaps I should choose one, then. According to my notes, I started working on the ideas and characters for this book in June of 2017. Two years isn’t too bad a time to spend working on a novel.
So I’ll target being done with these revisions by June 30, and thus having the book ready to go out to beta readers at the very least, if not agents.
There. Now I have to get past the outline stage and get cracking on writing new scenes. I’ve got a deadline to meet.