Well, after floundering around for ages with Iron Debt, I finally broke down and wrote a ferblungit outline. I don't like outlining much - I'd really rather sit down and see where the characters take me. But the place the characters were taking me was a corner, where they sat and stared at the wall, and then at me, and then back at the wall, and so forth.
Outlining always feels like writing code to me. I can get away with not writing out the algorithm I'm trying to create in the code if it's short
. Scripting, for example, where the entire blat of code can be seen on a single 80x24 text window, I can get away without diagramming.
But apparently, outside of the exception of River's Wrath
, I need to outline novels, just as I need to outline code.
I'm sure better writers than me have figured this out much faster, but hey, I can be taught. And I have sort of rewritten Chapter 1 to take advantage of the outline. Now the trick is to go through the next two chapters and finish the jiggery-pokery necessary to make them line up mostly with the outline without
getting bogged down too much in rewrites. And then I will hopefully be able to resume proper writing.
After Wiscon, though - I'll be there, but I have no idea what panels if any I will be going to. I do intend to hang out with the Fabulous Margaret
if she goes to karaoke, though I may not sing.