I am always changing details of the way I write. Right now I’m working on my next novel (no, I haven’t finished the current book, and I will be churning out around 2500 words towards it today – getting my next novel ready is something I usually do while I’m working on a book).
I’m trying a really, really detailed fifteen point, thirty chapter outline. I have planned it for around a 90k book (90,000 words for those not familiar with the vernacular).
Here’s the thing, I’m loving the process. It’s something that I think has been missing from my previous work. I already know the ending of most of my books, but this time I have figured out the middle. See, I always have a hard time when I hit the middle. I know lots of cool stuff can happen, but this time I have a good idea of what it is.
Anyone who has read A Long Walk knows that I have the scene at the inn. I love that scene; it is a very kind of magical time for my characters (and I like them, so I let them have it). Now I know where that’s going to happen in my next book, that moment that gives the reader time to relax with the characters. I also know when they will confront the big bad, and I already have the beats of how that conflict turns out.
Another bonus to this is that I don’t have to write in order if I don’t want to. I can write that conclusion, and it will make sense, even though it involves many different characters and is dependant on what has come before. That’s the biggest freedom. Now, I might change things after that. When I make those changes, I will have to make sure the earlier parts of the story match, but I will know I have to do it, because I have this outline.