In the end, I did commit to two full days of outlining and note-taking. The process was uncomfortable; I didn’t like it, especially as it brazenly pointed out many places where I could – and likely will – get stuck. But I held out. Pages and pages of notes (tree-paper and on-screen) later, I had to admit that some of the very things that made the process so unpleasant were quite valuable. Scenes that resurfaced every time I sat down to take another crack at it weren’t merely repetitive; they were asserting themselves as sections that I obviously (at least for the moment) consider significant. The ‘red notes’ threw me off as well…I had some difficulty in allowing myself to start writing with so many areas where I already know there will be issue, where I’m already seeing the bottlenecks and complications. That being said, having such scenes called out has already proven effective. Knowing that the issues are there (looming in the distance :P) means that my brain can chisel away at the problem before I ever get to it. Already some of the more severe blockages have been broken down into more manageable chunks.
And so, with some misgivings, I re-started. And I am truly startled by how well it is going. As I suspected, MS2 is fitting much better into the genre. But I’m not just trying to shove MS2 into this new genre. I read over what I had happening next and take what I need from MS2. If it doesn’t work, I just rewrite something completely new. On day 1 and 2, I gave myself a quota of 2500 words each…on day 1 I blew off 3700 words and day 2, 2800. Even today, with only a quota of 1000, I managed 1200.
Reading it over, I am so much happier with how this version sounds and flows. The characters feel like they belong in this story, as opposed to my previous attempt to shove the MS1 characters into a tale with new names and hair colours. I haven’t bothered to change any names or appearances this time. Ms2 is simply turning into MS3 and these characters belong here. And, perhaps most importantly, I’m enjoying the actual writing much more, which makes it far easier to keep up a high wordcount pace.