As I work on Tomorrow Will Come and It Will Be Just Like Today, it’s once again becoming more apparent that outlining excessively in advance isn’t always the best way for me. With a novel such as this — and I’ve realised this many times over the years, but still I sometimes succumb to the apparent safety of a detailed outline! — it’s vital that I allow room for movement, for developments that surprise even me. To nail everything down very precisely and methodically makes it too “safe”.
Knowing the main sections of the novel beforehand is fairly important, however. The beginning, the middle and the end came to me roughly sketched but conclusive overnight, as I’ve already mentioned. But the finer details, the characters and how they develop and interact, the landscape, the twists and turns of plot, the back story and unexpected infidelities (I think!) — all these grow with the novel.
And it’s this that keeps it fresh. Working from a detailed outline, as I did with the Children of the Resolution, can often feel more like an act of transcription rather than something creative. Yes, this way can be rather unnerving on occasion (shit, I’ve got nothing outlined for the next chapter!), but it gets the blood pumping.
That can only add to the work’s vitality.