I was finally conquering my procrastination at 1:30 this morning. The outline in an excel spreadsheet lay before me. It was deeply dissatisfying, because I had all these thoughts and needed to organize them before I could write that one hour sentence, then expand to paragraphs, and do characters.
I’d seen my wife teaching my son bubble outlines, where you draw a circle around something, then write other things and put arrows and more circles. I’m not quite sure if there’s a procedure that they teach you in bubble school. I never had that class, so I made it up as I went.
All the things I knew about the character – some sort of past abuse she’d had on the planet, something mysterious about her origins, issues with the armor, those all came together nicely. I see the sub-plots of the Empire vs. Newcomer, betrayal, conspiracy, insurgency. I need to fix the protag’s character defects/virtue, and remap all the characters. I found a good antag, and it’s a question of why he is withholding important and useful information. Must remap antag’s character defects/virtues, then introduce him so we can build up that story arc. I see one major plot line and three subplots which are integral to the major plot line. I think I can do it as a linear plot, no flashback necessary or prologue or such.
Next: To map out the entire arc of the book. What’s the main conflict? What must be overcome? Once this is defined, I can see what the climax is going to be and then how the rest of the nested sub-plots will contribute. That major conflict is the problem.