A few years ago I attempted Nanowrimo...well not only attempted I successfully put down over 50 000 words. I put it aside for about a year, then finally looked at it. Surprising myself that there was actually something there to work with.
I did a bit of rewriting...then left it for a long time. Being brave I gave the opening chapter to my writing group...they all wanted more. So I printed the whole mismatch out and on our writing retreat I worked on it.
This led to a major rejig of time line and since then I've been slowly plodding away on it. I'm 9/10 of the way through when bang... I have discovered A HUGE HOLE.
Why I didn't notice this earlier I have no idea. Perhaps I was too focused on getting there. I had the end in sight and I was merely putting one foot in front of the other. Whatever the reason, here I am with a hole. A gap. A huge slice of emptiness that needs to be filled.
Interestingly enough I had thought the plot made sense. And it does to a certain degree, but as with everything, when the mist lifts and you get a clear view...so much you couldn't see before is there before you.
And of course I have a deadline. Not a real this HAS TO BE FINISHED BY THIS DATE kind of deadline, but I have a cold reader set up and a date when I'm handing this rough old manuscript over.
So I have spent quite a bit of time thinking of my characters and my time line. What would work, what wouldn't. Why not? Why would they do this or that. If this person is now this age, how old were they when this event happened. It's very confusing.
As you can probably tell I'm not a planner. I really don't plan anything much. Oh I have guidelines, and ideas where I'm headed and what I hope to accomplish, but I've learnt over the years that nothing is set in concrete. That flexibility is the key to life.
It's like having a set of songs to sing for Tinies Time and realise that you have a group of four year olds who really don't want to sing the Wiggles greatest hits. You adapt.
I'm working on the problem. Hoping to have a successful end result. My cold reader may have a copy in time to read...but then it's a work in progress.
And sometimes progress is very slow.
Especially when you discover gaping holes.
But you learn a lot...I'm learning perhaps it's best to plan. Just a little.