The next challenge will be to revise what I have, but before then, I am launching into Nanowrimo. I have a new/old project. That is, since I've been progressively re-approaching my main world, its history, the stories and characters that I've been building and playing with for years... why not?
I am approaching Nano differently this time. I made an outline--suitably vague, and with a massive note to self "achieve the main plot goals--but hey, change is okay." But I know anything on Don-Yin will be epic. In the real sense. I can't expect to write the whole book in a month, but Rule of Magic--my July success-- was not a full manuscript.
The story was written beginning to end, but it is a stripped down version. I can expect to approach November's project with that same result. That means my outline can be flexible, adjusted, as long as I have the characters and plot mapped out well enough to hang the novel on.
I think I have those things down. I have, off and on, over the years spent enough time with the characters and plot that I am confident of my love for both, my drive to complete them, and now my newfound-direction that I know I can do this.
I will post my outline, in pieces, on Story Snippets, so if you're interested in following my progress, I'll track it there.
Writing with the idea of self-publication as the goal has changed the approach to the novel, from the beginning. I feel better able to embrace the artistry, and less pressure to compete. That isn't to say this is not a competitive industry--I see just how competitive every level of the book business is when I go to work. Focussing on the need to compete, to produce a story that would both be familiar enough for the marketability to be easily demonstrated and original enough to seize the enthusiasm of an editor, made me worried. So very worried.
But now, thinking that I can take control of my project, I can pursue all knowledge I need to produce a professional end product. The interim, the beginning steps, are less stressful now, with more freedom for me to explore my own ideas of the story and the nature of "good writing."
Much of this, I know, is me.