You might of heard this quote somewhere:
The saying “Life is just one damn thing after another”, is a gross understatement. The damn things overlap.
-The Cincinnati Enquirer, Ohio, February 21, 1947
(Credit to @yesterdaysprint on Tumblr who I found this quote through).
I’ve seen it Instagram and Pinterest. And other than being straight up facts, today it hit different.
Because while staring at my outline and my first draft for my third book this morning, I realised what was wrong with it. It was one thing after another.
I dealt with one plot point and then moved onto the next.
But what I should have done is presented the second plot point subtly during the first one and then turn it into a problem when it needs to be one. That way it doesn’t come out of nowhere.
For me this became obvious after a while because I only have two main problems to solve. But this doesn’t just apply to only main plot problems, it can apply to subplots, even if a subplot starts halfway through the book, you can start hinting at it as early as page one! This’ll make the whole thing feel more put together and more structurally sound.
I’m kind of horrified that I didn’t realise this earlier on, but what are first drafts for I guess?
So if you’re struggling with a feeling of inadequacy in your outline or early drafts, maybe check that out? Is everything happening one thing after another? And how can you make them overlap?