I continued my work on Chapter 2. The characters went off in their own direction, literally, and a new mini-adventure popped up all on its own. It was very interesting and a viable way to advance the story, but it was "off course" according to my outline, the scenes I had intended to write. I went with it, but after writing it had to evaluate whether the new version was really the right way to go or not. I decided to put off making a final decision and instead reorganize my thoughts and go back and redo the Chapter, keeping it true to the original plan.
With two versions of Chapter 2 under my belt, along with a lot of holiday treats, I then allowed myself to go back to Chapter 1 and do some more editing, filling in little details and expanding small sections to draw out their dramatic potential. The chapter grew and grew some more, finally coming in around 9,000 words.
Then, I actually got my giant pair of virtual scissors out and went CHOP-CHOP and -- voila! -- the chapter has now been cut into three parts, each around 3,000 words long! So I have 3 chapters now where there was one before, which means Chapter 2 is now Chapter 4, and it will be divided into three parts probably, so I've made a good bit of progress this past week and now have about 17,000 words!
In the midst of all this rapid progress, which happened over the course of about 4 days, I hit one of those idea logjams, the kind where all the new stuff begins to push against the original planning stuff and pretty soon it's all jumbled together and I reach a point where I just can't make another page of progress until I sit down and figure it all out, again, and again, and again.
That happens often along the way, until I get a sure enough footing. When the greatest plan on earth meets the reality of life on earth, something has to give.
I revisited my original outlines and notes, which were already in multiple stages, sucessive layers of development, then created a second revised set which in time also underwent successive mini-versions or "options" . . . and eventually got down to the real issues which ultimately brought everything into question all over again. I am no stranger to re-thinking, and re-thinking my re-thinking.
What I ended up with by way of confusion was whether to integrate this new novel, THE ISLE, in to the story line of my last novel, THE REFLECTING STONE, and possibly incorporate other ideas for additional novels. I looked at several ways THE ISLE could work, and how it could work with or without being made part of a series, and how best to draw out the drama, the suspense, the changes and growth for the characters, the central conflict, the main point, etc., etc. A lot of thinking and rethinking and innovating and creating and pulling substantial ideas out of thin air just in the nick of time to keep it all held together by even the minutest thread at times but, heck, it worked.
I ended up with the same story, once again now understood on a much deeper level, and tied in to other novels to create a series of novels that are, well, tied together.
The same story, but with some new twists. And, yes, my recent posting commented on twists, but now again there are more twists, so my plot line looks like a multi-layered, braided, spiraled telephone-cord-rope-thingy that could bear the weight of the QE2 or the Empire State Building, or, heck, given its epic nature, both at the same time.
And still I keep my sense of humor, such as it is.
Suffice it to say, I made a lot of progress in the past week! I just need to review my latest notes, establish my immediate writing goal, and get back to work in writing more new pages.
At some point I hope to let loose and just keep writing! However, I appreciate the value of considering the options and tying it all together in new and innovative ways that even I hadn't thought of until the moment I thought of them.
I hope to post again later this week that Chapters 1-6 (old large Chapters 1 and 2) are "done" and edited (I still have to choose between the two versions I wrote earlier of what was originally big Chapter 2), and that I'm at work on Chapters 7-9 (what would have been big Chapter 3).
Happy Holidays, and wait until January before hitting the stores again if you don't like the crowds,