I’m noticing something about my attitude when I outline a story. There’s never a point where I feel like it’s going just well. It’s either completely broken and a waste of time and I don’t know why I bother, or it’s an epiphany and it’s the greatest thing since people first spit painted hand outlines onto cave walls.
I’m sort of at a low point with the two novel outlines I’ve been working on. I have a pile of ideas, but I know there’s something missing and it’s pissing me off. I look at notes and try to see how they fit together so I can see where the holes are, but they’re not cooperating. Usually what happens is that if I ignore it for a few days and then come back, then I have a fresh set of eyes and I can come up with different ideas. Not necessarily better or worse ideas, but different. The combination of ideas is what makes the whole work compelling, so as long as I’m coming up with things that weren’t there before, it feels like progress.
I think that tomorrow, barring unexpected work-catastrophe or other time-eaters, I’m going to turn off the Internet and turn off the cell phone and beat this thing into submission if it kills me.