I’ve been taking it easy on writing during December, though still putting in writing or planning four days a week. Yesterday I finally started writing an important midpoint sequence that I’ve been working on outlining for the previous week. Throughout the outlining process, and as I started writing, some plot problems I’d been brushing aside started pestering me more and more.
I’ve been reading The 12 Week Year for Writers, and today spent several hours evaluating how much work I have left in my book. I created a spreadsheet estimating my average writing speed and how long I thought it would take to complete a chapter worksheet, outline, and write the prose for the remaining half of the book.
Seeing clearly the remaining level of effort — an estimated ~110 hours based on the current outline — reinforced that I need to be confident I’m heading down the right path for the book’s remaining plot, so I spent another few hours digging into some of the issues that have been nagging at me.
I wrote out a list of all my plot problems, explored some possible plot variations for the third book, and listed out ways I could change the existing plot to address some of the issues. That inspired me to open up my Excel outline and start adjusting the order of some scenes that I’ve already written, which I felt even as I was writing them might cover emotional ground too quickly. Then I created a new copy of my WIP and started moving scenes around to see what it would look like. I got about halfway through, but I’m wiped out for the night. Hopefully tomorrow I can finish that up and evaluate whether it resolves enough of my problems.
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