by Shelt Garner
I’ve just about entered the second half of fleshing out this first novel’s outline and I’m at a loss as to what to do. I need to convey to the reader that there is rising tension and danger for the protagonist — the bad guys closing in, as they say.
But I totally don’t know what to do, at least at the moment. I know in general terms what I need and what I want, but I’m going to have to radically re-imagine what is going on in some way. I think my best bet is to detract myself. Whenever I find myself in such a situation, I’m able to figure out what I need by doing something else than development.
I’m going to give myself about a day, I think, to do this. In the past, this has been about the time when I have gone on a little Writer’s Retreat to daydream. But I just don’t have the opportunity to do that right now. So, I think I might do a lot of reading (for once) and try to think of ways to put my heroine in danger and to build up to the end of the third act when we have our “all is lost” moment.
The first half of the novel is really, really good. I’m very pleased. I will note, however, that I’m very frustrated with how long this process is taking. I’m not getting any younger and I want to write six novels in this universe. I think, maybe if I stop focusing on that element of all of this and just try to make the first novel as strong a story as possible that things will be easier to figure out.
But, who knows.