Today, I made some progress with my outline. Presently, I have outlined every chapter in the novel anew, but some of the last chapters were a bit sparse. Mostly just a one-or-two line summary of what happened in the scene. So my goal has been to go through and flesh them out, expanding each scene in the outline to at least 1,000 words of summary. The idea is to grow each scene naturally from the skeleton of the summary to the flesh of the content to the skin of the final presentation. I want to do this primarily for the second half of the novel, because that ways I can use to ending (and the scenes leading up to it) to anchor the story.
I expanded two scenes today, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The first one was much easier to do because it had to do with the A-Plot, and I knew exactly where the characters needed to be and at what point. The second scene was harder because it was more B-plot/character-development, involving the other main character waiting to experience the effects of the first MC’s actions. It was hard to get into, but I made it work after printing out the outline summary for this scene, then writing down ideas by hand until I hit a flow. Both scenes feel pretty solid now.
They’re hardly perfect though. I wish I had a sharper sense of dialogue, and knew how to make the characters say things that were both in-line with and also revealed more of their personality. I worry that my characters all sound the same and speak in the same faux-wry tone. I don’t think it will get better until 1-2 drafts from now.
In the meantime, I want to finish expanding upon the outline for the last 30-some-odd chapters of the second half over the course of the next three weeks. Which would leave another two months to add the flesh and skin.