In March, I realized I had been overly ambitious trying to outline all 3 books before drafting. I found myself struggling with Books 2 and 3 because my grasp of Book 1 wasn’t yet solid enough.

Rock bottom

I had two problematic arcs that just weren’t working.

The Last of Us Podcast reminded me about characters needing to hit rock bottom before the climax. Not just some hardship; rock fucking bottom. In the weak arcs, my Pinch 2 fell far short of rock bottom.

I asked myself deep questions and freewrote the answers. Once I found each character’s rock bottom, I reworked the outlines to match. The story feels much stronger for it. I’m glad I found these problems earlier.

Plan for April

I have a rough scene list already, separated by POV character.

I want to:

  • find missing scenes and details and add those to the list
  • interweave the scenes in book order
  • flesh out each scene so I know who is involved, where it takes place, what the conflict is, how the characters deal with it, how it resolves.

I think this will:

  • show me the transitions between POV switches
  • show me the pace of the book
  • highlight questions and areas of worldbuilding that are missing

Once I have this expanded scene list, I’ll start drafting.


March’s stats aren’t impressive. I did add a ton of words while brainstorming, then I removed a ton of words while cleaning up older files. I have a better idea of the story, which is the important thing.

Manuscript markdown files: 14
Manuscript words: 5875
Total markdown files: 338
Total words: 116933