Even while outlining the new novel, I keep wanting to go back to the old.

Especially now that I’ve gotten some reader feedback. Makes me think maybe my time would be better spent editing and polishing the novel I’ve got, rather than writing a new one.

Or perhaps I should switch to outlining and writing the sequel to the last novel? That’d be easier: I’ve already got the characters and the world in place, and some history established. I should be able to get off and running on that book faster than the first, right?

It’s hard for me to tell whether this is my normal flightiness or a sensible course correction.

For now, I’m going to stick with the plan: outline and write a new book with completely different characters, then come back to the first novel and edit it into shape. With that done, I’ll be able to alternate periods of new writing with periods of editing, and hopefully get into a rhythm that’ll sustain me all the way to publication.

Back to the Outline of the Future

The presentation’s done, the conference is over. I can start turning my attention back to writing.

But writing what? The book I’m outlining now is near-future science fiction, something that’s usually difficult to pin down. It’ll almost certainly be thought of as a prediction of what’s to come, instead of what it really is: an excuse to indulge some of my programming daydreams without moving too far away from the known and familiar.

So how do I balance the whimsy I want to put in there and the reality-grounding I know it’ll need? How do I gel a coherent story out of all the ideas bubbling around in my head for such a setting?

There’s no way to know except to write it, to set something down and then work with it until it reaches the shape I want. So I’m outlining, sketching characters and situations out, building up the scaffolding I’ll need before starting to write in earnest.

Here we go again.