The revised outline is one that excites me. The story is one that excites me. I came up with several twists and turns that were unexpected to me, and decided to throw them in and let the story grow some more. What I ended up with includes the main conflicts/issues I started out with, but now has even more surprises in store for the Reader. (Notice I capitalize "Reader" to show my respect for anyone who would think to read my fiction.)
Anyway, I felt I had a solid enough footing, clear anchor points, enough details and events and a strong sense of the main characters' personalities, so I went ahead and took the plunge. I'm most of the way done with Chapter 1 now. It currently runs around 3,600 words. I am only intending on a minimum of 2,000 words per chapter, and don't want them to run very long (like the 10,000-word length that is common in THE REFLECTING STONE). My style is clear and crisp and reads quickly.
The first chapter surprised me in that I got a few new characters who presented themselves, and another twist came up on two of the main characters -- nothing that alters who they are supposed to be for dramatic purposes, but a new slant on how to represent that. I know, it's all very cryptic, but this is a mysterious story (heck, with a title like THE ISLE it should have some mystery in it!). Anyway, the new ideas that come up as I write help keep me excited about the story, and I keep them (so far) in line with the outline.
I took time out for other things this past weekend, wanting to finish up some of that holiday-preparedness that is so important this time of year, so I didn't spend as much time writing as I might have, but I'll catch up tonight (Sunday) and will now keep my nose to the grindstone so I can finish this first draft within December.
It feels great to be connecting with a story, setting aside my meta-level thoughts about the process and just enjoying the sense of adventure and discovery. It helps that it's such an interesting story for me to work with.
Wishing everyone else well as they enjoy their stories this holiday season,