Novel Update: Power Levels and Personalities

So, I promised more updates on the novel that has been my side project for…well, I don’t want to think about how long it’s taken me to get this far.

When I last wrote an update here, I guessed that I was within 100 pages or so of having a finished rough draft. I think that’s still the case, but I couldn’t progress any further with the actual writing until I had finished the planning process. I’ve been working off of the mind-map that I had originally put together for the project, and then outlining individual sections in detail. I’m a very detailed outliner…it makes the actual writing the last step in the process, but a much easier one. So, while Karen and our daughter were out of town for the weekend, I had time to spend thinking through a couple of plot issues that had arisen, and finish the outline for the last section of the novel.

The problems that I found myself having to work through…and I’m still tinkering with solutions to some of them…is tying together the point of the whole book while staying true to my protagonist’s personality. It works, just not in the way I initially envisioned. I had to re-structure the final conflict of the novel a bit, and I’m thinking that I may still need to do some tweaking.

In doing so, I realized that I’m walking dangerously close to making my villain too powerful. She has to be pretty bad news in order to offer a big challenge for the heroes to win over, but I’ve made her power level almost too high, and now I’m trying to decide how to compensate for that. Likely, I’ll end up doing some re-writes on earlier sections and pulling back some of the wild extremes of her ability. I’m guessing that, when I look at those sections with fresh eyes, that the extremes will feel out of character in any case.

So, the end result of the weekend’s work is a completed structural outline for the final section of the novel, with almost all of the small details finished, as well. With a little luck, I’ll have the entire rough draft finished by the beginning of the year! Here’s to optimism…


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