marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

let there be light

So the animated statue is pulling open the treasure door for the heroine, and the light in her hand is causing -- things inside to glint and gleam, hinting at the marvels within.  She starts to inch her way in. . . .

And the author looks at her outline and remembers the entire point of this excursion to the treasury is to retrieve a gemstone that glows on its own.  And that she had had the king, being no idiot, put said gemstone up where it would illuminate the treasury.

Good place for it.

Outlining has its uses in keeping the story from careening off into the wilderness, where it perishes for the lack of food.  As long as you follow it.  But sometimes the Muse goes zipping along and does something incompatible inconsistent with the outline.  To be sure, sometimes the outline is wrong -- a plot device that seemed good enough proved not able to take the weight of full written out story -- but in my experience that generally gets into pulling nails territory, and nothing so easy as merrily writing around it.

Still, sometimes it has to eyeballed to determine if the changes are really to load-bearing portions of the plot.  Perhaps it really was just local color that looked good at the time.  Or perhaps it's not incompatible, and there's just the matter of molding together what was written and what was outlining -- like, say, giving the treasury an antechamber beside the main room, where the gem shines radiantly onward.

Then, of course, there's always the excise entirely and restart.  An often overlooked choice, because it's so annoying to have to throw away stuff that's been written.

Tags: idea development, outlining, plot twist, plotting, story structure, world-building: magic (effects)

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