I’m writing the scene summaries for the Elizabeth Ryan mystery that I’m working on and it’s my first time to break down in outline form an entire book before I’ve written a single word of the actual text. In essence, I’m trying to have such a heavily organized outline from the get-go that the actual writing is easy.
I thought I had the scenes wrapped up but the more I let the book percolate, the more I realize that I need to add. It dawned on me today, for example, that I’m missing a major, major character. I was so startled when it came to me that I had to sit down for a second. I mean, how could I have left out such an important person in Elizabeth’s life? He’s going to have a major impact on her over the next few years (ie. next few books and beyond) that it’s unimaginable that I had forgotten him in my initial planning stages.
And that’s how the book process works, I think. Much planning, then trial and error and then if we’re lucky, a little magic.
Ever imagine what one of your favorite books might be like if the author had eliminated or forgotten to include a major character? How might the story be different?