It is rather confusing here. Sprawling, lush hills with roads that twist about, jungles you get lost in, and when you emerge, a searing hot desert.
In short: it's fun, overwhelming, and hard.
So many ways! I have seen outlining scenes with index cards and writings 20 page outline and highlighting and color coding.
I am also deep in research--something I did not go deep enough, and now my brilliant friend (and writer) has pointed out that my supposed "fantasy" world is like sheer strands of thread that cannot form a tapestry rich enough.
(She also very rightly pointed out that I needed description. As you hopefully tell, I have been practicing that in this blog post.)
It's really a lot to take in. Because though I rewrote my novel two times already, I wrote them in a Nanowrimo-style madcap dash to the end. And while my plot improved SO much, well, my prose? My characters that sound all the same?
I think I may need to do another kind of rewrite--the scene level rewrite.
I went to an Office Depot and got myself some index cards. And sticky tabs. And I did not really know what to do with them.
But just I was getting lost in all these index-cardy tricks and highlighting fashions and color-coding I felt like I had stumbled upon this unwelcome pit of quicksand--Just as I was writing the title of this post, I was thinking of this very word--revision. Revision. Re-vision. It kind of hit me, made me think for a second.
I am re-visioning my novel.
Creating higher standards. Ratcheting up stakes. Making characters move and dance and make crushing mistakes, and pay for it. I am seeing it not in the flat, two-dimensional plot arc I have had for too long.
I may have to rewrite most of my scenes--but this time, the plot structure is there. I have the foundations and the supporting beams.
Index cards may help, but what matters most is my vision.