I’ve spent my day what-if’ing.

I’ve completed the first “flesh-out” of 40 chapters in my adventures of outlining, meaning I’ve added on average a 70-word description for each of the first 40 chapters in the second Pearl of Justice Mystery.  I only have 61 chapters to go.  The awkwardly worded, one line per chapter outline has been a huge help in speeding up the process. The next iteration of the outline should be even easier to create. I’ve never created an outline from nothing before. I’ve written 40 pages of a book and then outlined from there, but to create an outline from the storytelling ether with no baseline to work from is much more exhilarating than I had imagined. I’ve spent my entire day so far asking myself “What if?” And I can think of no better way to spend my time.

I took a lunch break and watched the documentary Chaos on the Bridge by William Shatner. It’s about, of all things, the making of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Apparently, it was an epic challenge because of one person, Gene Roddenberry. He put a lot of constraints on the cast and crew, in particular the writers. Thirty members of the writing staff quit the first year of the show! He wanted them to do the impossible, he didn’t want the Enterprise to have any conflict among the crew. It was to be presented as a Utopian paradise. It’s a maddening thing to ask writers to do. Conflict is at the core of character development. I highly recommend the doc to all, but in particular I think writers should watch it. I was enthralled.

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