Extra: The original outline for Shades of Milk and Honey
In the course of looking for something else, I’ve just found the original outline for Shades of Milk and Honey. I’ve mentioned before that the ending is vastly different from what I had originally planned.
Basically, what happened was this. I began writing it for NaNoWriMo and somewhere around Chapter 10 began to feel that I had taken a wrong turn, even though I was keeping to the outline. Since I was writing this as an exercise, I decided to just keep going until I hit the NaNo wordcount goal of 50,000 words then I stopped and reread what I had written.
Lo! That nagging feeling had indeed been correct. The story had taken a wrong turn, by which I mean that the alternate story in my head was more interesting than the outline I was writing from. So I tossed about 20,000 words and wrote a new outline. This was a painful, painful thing to contemplate, but once I did it, I realized why I had been slowing down so much in the later chapters. As it happens, I wound up getting to salvage many of the deleted scenes.
Now, what I should have done when writing it in the first place was to stop when I had the sense of taking the wrong turn and evaluate the new path against the outline. I’ve learned my lesson now and do stop to revise the outline as I work if a new possibility offers itself.
But… I thought that the original outline might be interesting to you. It does contain some spoilers since I retained many of the chapters, but the latter half of the book deviates wildly from the published version.