The past several days I've reworked the outline a few times, using a larger group, a middle-sized group (as a compromise), and emphasizing different aspects of the initial storyline to see how things would play out depending on what I focus on. Each time through I felt frustrated that I was re-doing the same work over and over and over, wishing I'd just get it right and say "go with it", but also I knew each time I was coming up with exciting new ideas for the pool and in the end I was able to go with the best set of ideas from that expanded pool and prodeuce a final version that I like a whole lot. So, it was fun in a way, certainly frustrating as I wanted to finish up and start writing, and ultimately rewarding: the new revised outline is one I'm very excited about. Also, I found a way to keep a fantasy element in it, as well as a mystery.... (Ooh....)
So, I'll take time for any last thoughts, tweak things a bit if needed, and then dive in and start writing. I might start the writing later tonight. I am happy it's winter again as I have more time during this time of the year to write.
My current timeline for THE ISLE is to finish the first draft within December, and the second draft within January. Depending on how it goes, I hope to have a completed manuscript by March, and to start shopping it around as soon as it is finished. Meanwhile, I'll work on THE REFLECTING STONE as I can, and prepare for the next novel.
Glad to be back at it, and the break certainly made a lot of difference.