Writing Out of Order

My friends know that I can’t do anything the easy way. Sigh.

In this case, that means I’ve been working on the next books in the Unbound series out of order. Not on purpose, mind.

I’d envisioned a sort of split storyline for the second book, where something occurs early on to make the heroes realize they need to split up to accomplish their goals. I was going to do a back-and-forth with the chapters, each following one of the two sets. Think the Empire Strikes Back after the attack on the rebel base–the heroes end up in different places. Only my characters would come back together for the last act, to solve this book’s problems as a team.

I had what I thought was a fairly solid outline–18,000 words of outline/beats (detailed planning). I knew where they started, I knew where they needed to end up; I knew the major turning points for both storylines.

I stretched out my fingers and I dug in.

The Problem Starts

Knowing I couldn’t possibly write it going back and forth, I started on one set’s adventures, meaning to finish that, then go back and write the other set. I was very happily writing away–the crew was telling their own story, really, I was merely recording it, and I wasn’t paying much attention to word count.

Then, one day I realized I was about 60,000 words into the first storyline, and that wasn’t even half of that storyline…if the second half went the the way the first had, and that storyline was only supposed to be half of the middle of the book–well, holy cow…

That would have made the second book a tome, even by my standards

So I had to make a really tough decision: More