I came across a little snag in my novel today. I discovered that the man I created, Shann, ran out of patience before I thought he would. When he’d had enough of Taafa, and left her stranded on the side of a mountain (after all, she could SEE the city from there and should be safe enough), it was actually quite in character. The problem? It wasn’t in the outline. In fact, if I let the new story line diverge here in the direction it seems to want to go, it won’t be the story I had intended to write. At all. I spent a while walking laps around the store, trying to figure out what will happen next, then wrote another scene and got Taafa into even more trouble. Now it’s really messed up. Tomorrow I’m going to have to dredge a new channel from where we have ended up to where we need to go, and see if I can get Shann and Taafa to cooperate.
This is all in case you thought that having an outline would take all the fun out of writing. This kind of veering happens to me all the time, and it’s reassuring to me when it does. Yes, even when I complain. It was a serious concern to me when I started my second novel that I had outlined all the creativity out. Now I find that seriously funny, as I wouldn’t dream of writing from that sketchy an outline again, but then it seemed so over-the-top locked in.
So I expect that at some time tomorrow I’ll find a way to get Shann and Taafa in the same room again, and perhaps even talking to each other. At some point, they’re going to have to. Otherwise I will need to carve a new path to a completely unknown destination. Who knows? Maybe that’s where we really want to go, but I don’t think so.