I’m starting to seriously work on a project I had the initial idea for over two years ago. It started with a vivid image, of someone walking home in the dark in the rain. They were walking past trees, and they were resigned to the wet, and they were accompanied by a God.

At the time, I wrote it down, but I didn’t think I had the skill to do the idea justice.

It’s my active project right now. I have other images – of standing on a hill in a thunderstorm wearing a fedora, of characters throwing things at deities for being thwarted romantically – and they’re starting to come together. I’m editing the first couple of thousand words fiercely, because my skill has grown in the past couple of years and I am better able to see where I’m missing my mark in tone and voice and pacing.

With all of the critiquing I’ve done in the past couple of years, I’m much better able to cut to the heart of the matter, which has led to a new style of outlining for me: I just write down what happens as briefly as possible. It’s like the blocking run for a theatrical performance: none of it is costumed in prose, there are no microphones, the set’s in place but not finished being painted. The second run is what’s going to let me fill in the blanks, but right now this is looking like it’ll be a much faster and more efficient way for me to write.

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