I finally have the third act of my latest WIP (work in progress) outlined. It was painful, and it has taken me months to figure out what I’m doing with this book and where I’m going with all those vague notes I made in the beginning, but it is done now. All I have to do is write it.
First, dealing with character motivations. They didn’t change, thank goodness, but they did become a lot more defined by the time I was halfway through, and so the final act needed to reflect that. I can go back and add in the things I need to make it work, but for this all I needed to do was make sure I knew what I was targeting for sure.
Next, going through old notes and reconciling with how the story has gone, because it still works. It’s still what I was aiming for, I was just super vague. Which is probably why it still works. Filling in a few gaps, making sense of some confusing digital scribbles, turning my generalized sense of an ending into something I can actually write.
Then, connecting the dots between the character arcs and the underlying political tension and the actual surface goal of the character. That’s… going to need work. And lots of going back to act one to add more hints and clues as to where it’s all going. But at least now I know how it ties together, at least in a clumsy fashion.
And then going back and outlining the little details I’m going to need to add in order to make that tension clear. I probably shouldn’t have spent all that time on outlining the details for these things, when I’ll just change it first thing when I start draft two. It was helpful, though, in that now I know where I theoretically want readers to be coming from by the time we get to the end.
Finally, making a story out of it and finding an end point that’s not 100k words in the future. All I can do for that is write it. See if it actually meshes together the way it does in my head, or if I’m just being silly.
It feels like a triumph right now, getting all that figured out. Hopefully I can take the momentum and let it carry me to the actual end of the book. Anyone else have an epiphany moment lately?