Writing outside the outline

I planned my novel. I planned for a month, writing notes, character sketches, plotting the novel chapter by chapter and now I’ve found myself writing a whole chapter that I didn’t plan. Ok so, there was a secondary character, a friend of the protagonist, who I had previously sketched out to include in the novel. I didn’t know when she would appear, then I didn’t know if I would need her at all and now I’ve written a scene starting her and the protagonist.I know this secondary character is needed, but I feel a little uneasy that she took up a chapter…well 4 pages when I wasn’t expecting it or hadn’t planned her at this point. But I’m happy that she has made her entrance because she will come in handy later.

I’m still plugging away slowly at writing out the plot. I know that what I’ve written so far isn’t very deep. Its the surface level, the first draft of a plot. I will have a lot of work ahead of me for the next round of re-writing. Maybe I should hit the pause button and really think about how I can write more in depth with the protagonist and her conflict. I should print off a big sign that says “CONFLICT” and “ANTAGONIST” and “SETTING” as reminders to keep these things present in the story because for the moment they are quite scarce.

Progress so far:

  • 70 pages written (hoping to make up for my missed target last week)
  • wrote and unplanned chapter 8 and made some notes of scenes to write in chapter 9

I can’t think of any “Novel Writing Tip of the Day” because I haven’t thought of anything useful lately. I am feeling particularly novice in this whole novel writing business and I should start looking for a writers support group or something to keep my motivation up.

Cheers to all those writers who have finished their first draft!


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