This is gonna sound like Writer 101, but I hadn't really written a detailed novel outline yet. I had been working from a three-act structure outline (a great breakdown of this, and other plot structures, on Janice Hardy's blog here), but as far as a scene-by-scene outline ... nope. Didn't have one.
|I'm a panther; this baby is my book.|
When I wrote this detailed outline, I realized a couple things.
First, SO MUCH HAPPENS IN MY BOOK. It is kind of breathtaking all the shit that goes down. Which, on the one hand, is good. Fun, action-packed, complex novel, right? On the other hand ... holy wow there are like 4 major plotlines that I need to weave together so that events, themes, motivations, etc. converge at just the right moment.
Second, I have so much to gain from a scene-by-scene analysis of my book that I'm stunned and slightly guilt-ridden that I didn't do it earlier. How much stronger would my book be if I knew how scene 23 connects back to what's already happened, how it moves the plotlines forward, and how it sets up for events that will happen later?
But there's no sense in beating myself up for what I didn't do yet. This is my first novel; I'm learning.
What's really exciting is that I can suddenly see, like I'm Sherlock hallucinating diagrams in mid-air, how to make my book so much better. It's already good, but I'm about to make it kick-ass. And I can't wait.