Here's a thought: Write an outline for your novel idea. Make sure you have the characters clearly in mind. Make sure you have your plot points to the fore. Start writing that novel. Look back at your outline and ask "Why are these two things so different?" In your best Sesame Street tune sing, "Does one of these things not belong here? Is one of these things not the same?"
That's what I'm going through now with Fram Gage & T.I.A. I mentioned this in my previous post, but I thought I would expand on it here. While my outline helped me focus the story, it was abstract. I hadn't dived into developing the characters, the scenery, and so on. I had a shell or bowl. The ideas that would hold the story and cradle it gently. Let's face it though, an empty bowl is boring. Nobody wants to be handed an empty bowl. They want chili, soup, or cereal and milk in it. They want substance.
If I wrote exactly to my outline plans, the story would feel hollow and choppy. I'm glad I haven't gone this route. As I started writing it, the natural flow of the story became apparent to me. I didn't need to force certain parts of the plot. I could hint at them and build them up.
A major change to my outline is the timeline of the story. Without giving too much away, I planned on spreading out time with each chapter. But I found the story works better if the timeline is tighter. Then the characters come into play, of which one (maybe even two) is already revealed in the announced portion of the tentative title. Writing a novel has given me the opportunity to do something short stories and novelettes haven't. I can develop the characters fully. Adding layers of depth to them makes for a more interesting tale to write. It's kind of like going from spaghetti in a small bowl, it's just pasta and tomato sauce, to lasagna in a large dish, layers of pasta, meat, cheese, and vegetables.
Needless to say, I'm having a lot of fun writing this story.
Now, with this post I will announce the next word in the title of the book. This really shouldn't come as a surprise. Maybe you even figured it out already. Whatever the case, here's the current revealed portion:
Fram Gage & T.I.A.
The 'T' above stands for 'The'. Pretty original right? I knew you'd agree.
Until next time...