Okay, this plan-by-scene thing is not working. Evidently I don’t write in scenes.
I do, however, seem to write in acts. That’s the good news. Oh, and I’m at 10,000 words. In theory, halfway done with the rough draft.
The bad news is that there appear to be only three acts. And I’m pretty sure I need four. The first act set itself up nicely. The fourth act seems to know where it’s going. But as usual, it’s the mess in the middle that’s going to get me. Probably because I had this entire novella planned to take place from six PM to six AM. Not a lot of time to develop character in there let alone a romance.
So I’ve dragged out my trusty white board, scoured all the Don’t Look Down notes off it, and started diagramming Trudy. I know the turning points, but that does me no good if I don’t know the people. The key is to make Trudy determined and unyielding without making her dumb as a rock for not just giving up the toy when all these dangerous men are trying to take it from her. I have to make the reader say, “Hell, I wouldn’t give it up, either.” Which goes back to motivation. If they love Trudy and they believe that she believes she has to get that toy, they’ll take the ride with her. Otherwise, she’s a TDTL heroine: To Dumb To Live.
Write this down: Character is the soul of fiction. Yes, I know that’s obvious. But it appears to be a lesson I learn all over again every time I write.