So I have all thirty scenes for Book 5.
I love what I got. It’s solid, it holds together, it brings in essential pieces from the first four novels and uses stuff I hid throughout the first three (and in-progress fourth) stories to tie things up in a fashion I think is really cool.
It’s a target to shoot for… but again —
No plan survives first contact with the enemy.
And when you’re the writer, the outline is the plan, then you are the enemy.
So there’s that.
I have done all this work knowing that I’m going to get back to writing Book Four, using the MUCH better ideas that I’ve come up with over the past few days to direct it toward the ending…
And I am going to break shit again.
I imagine my re-think on the rest of Book 4 will mostly hold.
I imagine that the completely destructive outline of Book 5 (not ONE scene from the first outline made it to the second one) is probably doomed to Yet Another Outline when I get to it.
The logical question is:
Why do you do this?
And the born-from-brutal-experience answer is NOT —“If I can’t see where I’m going, I can’t get there.”
It’s much messier and crueler than that. It is, “If I can’t see where I think I’m going, I can’t get anywhere.”
Writing novels for me mostly happens by me having better ideas while I write.
For that to work, I have to have ideas first, though, and they need to be the very best ideas I can come up with at the time.
The process is known (though it’s generally not associated with writing fiction) as “destructive creation.”
It how tractors made horses obsolete — and destroyed the workhorse-breeding industry. How computers made typewriters obsolete, and destroyed the typewriter manufacturing industry.
And it’s how I write — I do all this work so that I can break my less-good ideas on my way to coming up with better ideas.
Though I don’t think I’ve ever really thought of it as that until today.
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