I’m settling in to write the last few chapters of my wild west steampunk adventure Lightning Wolves over the next few weeks. Today, I took a walk down by the Rio Grande to get myself in the old west frame of mind.
The debate between working from an outline or writing by the seat of one’s pants is an old one. I tend to prefer working from an outline because I have a day job that takes me out of town to an observatory every other week. I’m never quite sure when I can squeeze in a few minutes here or there to get some writing in.
That said, I’m not slavishly devoted to my outlines. I review them periodically as I’m working and adjust them if I see that the plot is going in a slightly different direction than I thought it was going to. That happened this past week with Lightning Wolves.
In fact, the plot had not deviated very far from the outline, but the characters were in somewhat different emotional places than I imagined they would be. The decisions they would make at this point were not the ones I imagined when I originally outlined the book, so I changed course and reworked the outline of the novel’s ending. This actually proved to be a good thing since there were a few things I’d originally written in the outline I wasn’t sure how I would resolve. Now, I have a resolution that works for me.
Will I continue to follow the updated outline through the rest of the novel? I’m getting close enough to the end that it’s likely, but I will allow myself room to change and room for my characters to grow.
Lightning Wolves picks up where my novel Owl Dance leaves off. If you want to learn about the first novel visit http://www.davidleesummers.com/books.html#owldance