I have been working on story four — “The Final Test” [?] — of Star Kings, and it’s going well. It started with a jumbled sketch and is now a clean draft. There’s more to do, I have to read it again for text, then read it aloud three times, and then it will be done. It takes a while.
Story four has six chapters, and when they were ready for a read through for text, I looked ahead at the sketch of story five, in case there might be problems in continuity, and to remind myself of what happened next.
The sketch for story five no longer works after story four’s natural development. I read the sketch for story six. It doesn’t work at all. Story seven seems to be okay. So far. Things could change.
So what will I do? I could just toss out stories five and six and move on. But both stories make certain points which I feel I need for the whole cycle.
I thought about it for a while, and one possibility is to switch stories five and six, and draft out new sketches for them, keeping only what I feel I need. I could do that. I’ll have to think about it again when I get back to them later.
(Interruption to attend Mace gaming convention in Charlotte NC, and a few days of recovery afterward. Which is going to help me work on the story, as a whole, with a fresh perspective.)
It’s been a long time since I got the first idea for Star Kings. And it’s been quite a while since I wrote out the sketches for the twelve stories in the cycle. And each time I finish a story, it changes what must follow, and I have to adapt. I will not force the story I want to tell into an invalidated sketch. The cycle as a whole is growing, and becoming real. It takes a lot of work for a rough idea for a cycle of stories to come clear, and to organically achieve it’s potential.
The point is one that I’ve made before. Don’t be a slave to your outline. What grows naturally is better than any outdated sketch.
At least that’s how it works for me.